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7 Common Distractions That Kill Productivity

Almost everyone has felt that horrible feeling that there just isn't enough time to accomplish something. However, sometimes that is due to succumbing to activities that slow or stop your productivity. This article is a list of really common distractions that you can look out for when you're trying to concentrate. Some of them are big, some of them are small, but all of them will result in reduced productivity.

Surfing the internet

It's hard to believe, but non-productive web surfing at work costs businesses 200 billion dollars per year. Trying to comprehend how many work hours among so many employees lost because of it is absolutely staggering. What's particularly difficult about web surfing, is how easy it is to jump from one tangent, to the next, into a never-ending spiral of links and clickbait. Next thing you know, you're watching a cute dog chasing his tail.


Although email is an important communication tool, especially in a corporate setting, it can also be a huge distraction. On average, most people spend about 13 hours – or 37% of the workweek – just checking their emails. Schedule time to check your email, but don’t let it drag on and on.

Too much coffee

There's an unfortunate, but popular, line of thinking that suggests a lot of coffee is the key to productivity. While it is true that a stimulant like coffee can improve focus, too much coffee can be just as bad as trying to work on three hours of sleep. Coffee is a diuretic, which means that drinking a lot of it will result in many task-interrupting trips to the bathroom. Additionally, too much coffee can result in racing thoughts, anxiety, and other disruptive side effects. Limit intake to 1-2 cups per day if desired.


Although meetings are often important and necessary, they're often not run very efficiently, resulting in a lot of wasted time. Additionally, time and money spent traveling to meetings, or in conference calls, results in a lot of avoidable expenses. Meetings need to be planned in detail when a specific goal needs to be shared. Otherwise, don’t let them waste your time.

Non-work chit-chat

This one seems pretty obvious, and it is. Despite the obvious fact that you should be working during work, gossiping has the unfortunate effect of keeping someone else from working, too.

Cell phone/texting

With the rise of smartphone technology, cell phones have become the procrastination method of choice for many people. They're ubiquitous, portable, and so, so easy to get sucked into. When it is time to work on a task, set the phone aside with the intention of not picking it back up until the task is complete.

Snack breaks

Eating during the day is fine, but it's something that should be done in moderation. The biggest problem with it, similarly to  getting up to go to the bathroom from too much coffee, it can make you lose your train of thought and interrupt the flow of a project or piece of work. If you find yourself practicing any of these productivity killers, take note and make a change. You may be surprised at how much time you actually have to complete your tasks without these distractions. What else do you think could be added to this list? Please let us know in the comments below!  


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