How to Overcome & Avoid Office Distractions

Running a small business poses some unique challenges. As a small business owner, you wear many (if not all) hats and you may get distracted frequently. Here’s how not to let distractions get the better of you.

If you are running your own business, then you could be attending to various matters when you are in your office or store.

Below are some of the common office distractions, and ways in which you can avoid them while still doing what needs to be done.


This is a very vital tool for your business, but if you are stuck on the phone the entire day, then it might become very difficult for you to devote time to the other aspects of your business.

In this case, you can either have an answering machine or voicemail attached to your phone number, so that you will not get distracted during meetings or while finishing some other work.

You can then play back your messages and attend to all the important calls. Alternatively, you can have an assistant or a family member to attend to those calls and let only the very important ones through.


If you are getting a lot of business through email, then make it a point to make different folders for inquiries, orders, payments, etc.

Do not forget to empty your inbox folders and keep a record of emails to people you have replied to and those that still require a response.

Be segregating your email by priority, it will become less distracting and help you to give priority to important matters.

Copying Important Documents

Many times, you may be distracted by important documents that have to be copied or Xeroxed.

If this is the case for you, it would be better if you installed an ‘all in one’ machine – which is basically a multifunction machine – and connected it to your computer.

You will now be able to scan, fax, copy and print various documents through one single machine, and this will save you a lot of time and result in fewer distractions.

Too Many Friends and Family Visiting During Business Hours

If you have too many friends, family or employees dropping in throughout the day, then that could be a big distraction from your business.

Inform them tactfully to come only during your lunch hour, so that you can continue working in peace. That way there will be no such distractions during prime working hours.

Too Many Clients

This is a welcome distraction, but it can still pose a problem if you are unable to handle them all at once.

In this case, you should offload some clients to your staff. Or, you could set up a system where bigger inquiries and orders are transferred to you while your staff handles the smaller orders.

That way, all your clients will get attended to and you will be able to satisfy them.

Talkative Staff

Sometimes, employees have a habit of gossiping if there are no clients around. This can lead to distractions if they are too loud or boisterous. It is better to set up rules beforehand, so that this situation does not arise.

You can keep your employees busy by handing them some other pending work. You should also specify that you expect them to talk softly and behave in a civilized manner in the office.

These are some of the most common office distractions. Unfortunately, most of them also bring in business, so it is up to you to set up a system that works for everyone.

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