6 Things That Should Not Be Distractions While At Work

April 12, 2012  |  
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Spending eight hours a day at work comes with certain compromises: putting other obligations on the shelf, leaving personal issues at home for the day and keeping your focus on the task at hand. For some of us, eight hours of shelving our lives could be problematic, especially when you are keeping up with the kids in case of emergencies, keeping current with the antics of your friends on Facebook and Twitter (or that of your favorite black women’s website *winks*) and looking for your next job opportunity.

As a businesswoman, it’s difficult when our lives and our daily concerns have to take a backseat, but it is necessary at times to get the job done. Keep in mind that these few things should not occupy your time and energy while at work. They could ultimately do more harm to your career than good:

Your Cell Phone

You cell phone could be one of those reoccurring distractions that throw you off from your workload. From phone calls about the kids to texts from friends and family, our cell phones are easily an important aspect in many of our lives, since it keeps us connected instantly.

If turning off your cell phone is what you need to do to get your mind focused on work during the day, then that is a great way to control the distraction, but if you must have your cell phone on, use it for emergency purposes only. Your cell phone does not have to be in plain sight or a short distance from you at all times. If someone texts you, don’t continue an hour-long back and forth with them. And if it is not something you need to get work done or for personal emergencies, then it does not need to be in use heavily. Moderate your time on and with your phone.

Your Job Search

Nothing says tacky and unprofessional like using your time at work to perform your own personal job search. It is always beneficial to anticipate your next career move, but it is in very poor taste to let it distract you from the job you have now. Using your time to look up and apply for other jobs AT WORK is one of those surefire ways to compromise your current job.

The job search and application process should be taken care of outside of the workplace; at home, in the library, wherever you can set aside some time to find your next job opportunity. Although you might not be happy with your current job state, don’t make this discontent obvious by looking for other jobs on the job…and by getting caught doing so.

Social Networks

Oh, the joys of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, some of our favorite social networks. We love to share our moments and thoughts with our loved ones and friends over these sites, but hold off from doing so excessively at work. Unless you are in social media for a living, 9-5 is not the best time to update your friends or followers on every moment of your day. With many employers on the lookout for dedicated and focused employees, it is not in your best interest to respond to that tweet just yet. It can compromise how your employer sees your time management skills and where your attention goes (if it’s not on work).

Your Relationship and Love Life

Whether you’ve just experienced a breakup with your long-term boyfriend, began a new relationship or battled through a rocky divorce, try not to let those emotional issues get in the way of your professional life. As women, it sometimes gets difficult to separate our emotions from the rest of the day. Depending on the situation, whether it’s suspicions of cheating or finding the love of your life, it’s sometimes easy to read it clearly off of our face and mood, but do not compromise your career because of emotional highs and lows outside of work. Try to remain focused and keep your relationship status on the back burner of your work day, or it can compete to get the best of your attention.


We all know the co-workers who seem like they never have much to do but chat about the latest gossip around the office, or the “informant” who seems to know the most breaking celebrity news that might have you drawn in to listen. In the workplace, there’s a time and place for everything, and with certain harmless conversations, it’s nice to step away from your workload and indulge every once in a while. Moderate your time with your co-workers versus your time working. Make sure that there is a good balance and that the interaction with co-workers won’t compromise your time.

Your Side Hustle

Some of us might have a side hustle: that little job or two on the side that adds to your resume and puts a little change in your pockets. It might be freelancing, or an extension of your real job, but do not let your side hustle get in the way of your main hustle, which is your career. It could be embarrassing to be caught talking to your clients on the side while at work, where you are supposed to concentrate on the welfare of the company. It could compromise how your employer sees your intentions.

The point of a side hustle is to remain on the side, never taking up too much of your time or energy with your main career. So remember to balance and moderate your other job titles before your side hustle becomes your main hustle, by force.

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