Throughout the work day, focus and concentration ebbs and flows in a natural way. However, there are some things that can be real distractions at work, compromising productivity and keeping you from doing your best. Some of these distractions are easier to minimize or eliminate than others. A lot of them have to do with coworkers and the last one on the list may not be one you have ever considered.
Let’s take a look at five things that commonly distract you at work:
No. 1: Noisy Colleagues
According to respondents in a survey conducted by Ask.com, the biggest distraction in the workplace is coworkers. That’s right. The chatting between coworkers is what people find the most distracting thing at work. Perhaps it is just coworkers chatting around the coffee pot, but this also could be an issue in a collaborative environment in which colleagues frequently discuss work-related projects with each other. This requires employers to get creative when it comes to workplace atmosphere.
No. 2: Unexpected Visitors
Another distraction in the workplace is unexpected meetings with or visits from coworkers and clients. Those face-to-face interactions can be costly in terms of time. Nearly half (46%) of those surveyed by Ask.com said they prefer to communicate with coworkers via the telephone, email, or text messaging because there is less of a chance of engaging in idle chatter that takes up time.
No. 3: Electronic Communications
When AT&T coined the phrase “Reach out and touch someone,” people still looked forward to getting a message or phone call from a friend. Now we can’t help but get one every few minutes! But electronic communications can be terrible for workplace productivity. Telephone calls, emails, text messages, and any other form of communication that can ring, ding, buzz, or show up on your computer screen when you are trying to concentrate on your work – put it all away when it’s time to get work done.
Notifications are distracting, no matter who you are and no matter what you’re doing. Why do you think they say “drop it and drive”? If people have a hard time not answering a notification when they are behind the wheel of a car, then it’s pretty certain they will be tempted to answer one while at work. If you can see you have an email or a text message waiting, it is incredibly difficult to ignore it. It is important to set up the work environment so that when you have work time blocked off, you turn off your notifications.
No 4: Meetings
Meetings can be a huge distraction during the work day, particularly in an office in which lots of meetings are held regularly. Meetings can really cut into planned work time and if there are frequent meetings, it makes it difficult for workers to find blocks of time long enough to get focused and dig into a project.
Talk to your supervisor to see if excess meetings can be rescheduled or consolidated to allow for larger blocks of work time. But put your suggestion in terms of “team productivity.” Sometimes, managers don’t even realize how meeting that work with their schedule can hurt the productivity of the teams working under them.
No 5: Poor Nutrition
Lack of sufficient and proper nutrition is one of the top reasons for distractions at work, yet it is generally overlooked. We all know food is fuel for the body and skipping breakfast or lunch will not help your productivity at work, but it’s not just about making sure we actually eat; it’s also about what we eat.
Nutrients and other compounds required for proper cognitive function include:
- B vitamins (tuna, salmon, chickpeas, bananas, potatoes)
- Vitamin D (tuna, salmon, fortified milk)
- Calcium (dairy, dark leafy greens, sardines)
- Magnesium (nuts and legumes, whole grains, green leafy vegetables)
- Essential fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, tuna, meat)
- Phenylalanine (nuts and legumes)
- Acetyl–L–Carnitine (red and white meat)
- DMAE (salmon, anchovies, and sardines)
- L-Theanine (green tea)
- and a number of other amino acids.
As you see, all of these nutrients can be found in nature in many of the foods we eat.
Phenylalanine, and Acetyl–L–Carnitine are primary among compounds required for proper cognitive function. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, both Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Phenylalanine are effective in treating a number of ailments, including Alzheimer’s disease, memory impairment, and depression.
Dandelion extract and Forskolin (from the Coleus Forskohlii plant), when combined, can also have a profound impact on increasing brain signal strength. Forskolin helps to unlock the potential of the Luteolin in dandelion, which together act to “turn up the dial” on your brains “processor.” They do this by boosting cAMP, a form of cellular energy used in brain signal processing.
Our cognitive capabilities are directly affected by the foods we eat. According to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center the brain requires a constant supply of nutrients in order to function properly. These nutrients are responsible for energy metabolism in the brain, the propagation of nerve impulses, and the creation and function of neurotransmitters. The following neurotransmitters, which can be produced from Phenylalanine, Acetyl–L–Carnitine, DMAE, L-Theanine, are particularly important:
- Dopamine: Aids in the regulation of cognition, mental alertness, learning, and motivation
- Norepinephrine: Responsible for increased concentration and helps improve alertness, and arousal in the brain
- Acetylcholine: Major player in the signaling process in the brain, enhancing the brain’s response to sensory information and improving learning and memory
Even minor deficiencies in any of these nutrients can cause poor concentration and focus, decreased memory, and brain fog. In order to ensure you are supplying your brain with sufficient amounts of nutrients and other important compounds, you need to eat only whole foods (nothing refined), fresh fruits and vegetables (including leafy greens and foods high in antioxidants), fish, grass-fed meat, eggs, and whole grains.
If you feel your diet is not enough and want a complete set of nutrients to help keep you focused, you’re in luck! This is exactly why we developed Focusene, an all-natural supplement that provides the brain everything it needs to stay focused throughout the work day.