Overcome Workplace Distractions (Slay Productivity Dragons)

BY Jessica Helinski
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You may feel as if you're slaying dragons when attempting to overcome workplace distractions. A couple of weeks ago, the popular TV series Game of Thrones began its final season. Even if you aren’t a fan, you may be aware that the show features dragons. You may not be aware that the sales industry has its own “dragons,” dubbed “productivity dragons” by the RAIN Group. In a recent study, the RAIN Group had some fun with their findings, creating a Game of Thrones-​themed infographic highlighting how productivity dragons are a big sales challenge for some reps.

RAIN’s Erica Stritch reveals that of the sales professionals included in the study, only 14% were rated as extremely productive. “…there's a huge opportunity for 86% of people to take control of their time, achieve top performance, and slay their productivity-​killing dragons,” she writes. The infographic she shares highlights nine common habits among those who are considered to be extremely productive sales reps.

How to Overcome Workplace Distractions

  • Recruit your drive. You must build up your motivation to overcome workplace distractions as if it were a muscle. To do this, consider what extremely productive sales reps do. Make sure that you have written out your sales goals and plan out the action you plan to take to meet these goals. Also, you should track your weekly progress. Are you not where you planned to be by the end of the week? Then hold yourself accountable to the lack of productivity and make the necessary changes to make sure next week yields better results.
  • Ignite your productivity. Extremely productive sales reps are more 2.7 times more likely than other salespeople to calendar their activities. Calendering your activities will positively influence your productivity because you have now reserved time to get your priorities completed. And, a well laid out calendar that's available to your coworkers lets others know when you aren’t available. This will help ward off random requests and distractions that will damage your productivity.
  • Play hard to get. Did you know that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on track after failing to overcome workplace distractions? If you aren’t available, make sure others know by turning off alerts and shutting your door. Extremely productive sales reps are 3.4 times more likely to signal “do not disturb” to others. 
  • Learn to say “no.” Only 31% admit to saying “no” at work. Get comfortable declining productivity dragons, like unnecessary meetings, leads that aren’t a good fit, internet surfing, and interruptions from coworkers. As long as you have a good reason, no one will fault you for putting your foot down.

If these changes seem overwhelming, Stritch suggests that you overcome workplace distractions by tackling just one thing at a time. Doing so will help you get that much closer to joining the extremely productive ranks. You’ll not only keep your productivity dragons at bay, but also feel happier and boost your job satisfaction. No matter who you're vying for to sit the Iron Throne, they'd be proud of your ability to master your productivity dragons.