Rid Yourself of Office Distractions
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Ignoring phone calls. Avoiding lunchroom banter. Going invisible on G-chat. These are all things workers do in an effort to stay focused and get their work done. For some, it may be off-putting, causing their more social counterparts to wonder “How does she think she is?” or make accusations of snobbery.

Hey, all you want to do is get your work done and go home, right? Well, you aren’t alone, and the constant distractions can hinder progress. Brazen Careerist gives tips on how to get through the chatter and avoid productivity leeches—without hurting feelings.

Address internal interruptions: These are the only interruptions we can truly control. Get to know when you’re most likely to be hungry, bored, tired or otherwise unfocused and plan ahead. Keep healthy snacks at your desk, mix up your to do list so boring tasks are followed by interesting ones or find a quiet place to take a power nap.

Give people busy signals: In addition to putting up the “busy” message on instant messenger, try wearing headphones (even if you’re not playing music). Stand to greet cube crashers to show them you want to move the conversation along and don’t have all day. If you face the entrance of your cube or office when you’re seated at your desk, move your computer to the back of the cube to face the wall when working. Sure, visual queues like these might be passive-aggressive, but they might also save you from many an annoying interruption.

Read more at Brazen Careerist…


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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.

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