23 Jul 2015 19:29 IST

Overcome distractions in the workplace

Research study conducted by Florida State University

What do we usually do when we enter office or a meeting? We set our phones on vibrate, or even silent, so as to not get distracted. But does this work?

According to a recent study at Florida State University (FSU), researchers found that owners who set their phones to vibrate were less capable of accurately completing tasks than colleagues who did not receive "silent" notifications, even when they ignored incoming notifications. In fact, passive subjects who received phone calls or text messages made far more mistakes completing tasks than their undisturbed colleagues.

The problem turns out to be related to the cognitive load introduced by distractions. The brain effectively shifts attention from the main task, and diverts it to address the distraction. This constant shifting of attention between a main task and background distractions negatively impacts a person’s ability to accurately focus, while it also introduces higher stress, frustration, workload, effort and pressure.

The study’s finding contains important lessons for how to be more effective at work. In order to focus on the task at hand, it is not enough to suppress interruptions and distractions; we must eliminate them completely.

To know how to curb or prevent workplace distractions, read CMSWire’s full story here .

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