Distraction Alert!

If you’re reading this, you’re probably vulnerable to distraction. Turns out you’re not alone

By Sophie Cole

We’ve all been there. It’s 8 o’clock on a Sunday evening. You’ve spent all day fighting off the impending doom of Monday. Your head may still be a bit foggy from Saturday evening’s excesses.

Now, as the weekend draws to an end, you check your to-do list. And there it is: the thing you’ve been putting off all weekend. That dreaded meeting prep or email that needs to be in a client’s inbox by 8am tomorrow. It’s now or never. Time to face the awful task.

But alas, 10 minutes later you find that terrible sitcom you usually despise has you rapt. Pretty much anything in the world, even literal paint drying, seems more appealing than what you’re avoiding.

After spending the evening in a stressful state of guilty relaxation, you heave yourself to your desk and finally get on with THE THING. Which usually takes about 10 minutes and leaves you wondering why on earth you didn’t tackle it sooner.

Why do we do it to ourselves? Procrastination reduces overall levels of wellbeing and has been found to lead to lower levels of academic and professional achievement. Around 20 per cent of us identify as serial procrastinators, which sounds sinister, but just means we put things off at every available opportunity. And many who fall into this group report that their procrastination has an “extremely negative” effect on happiness. Yet, like a useless ex-boyfriend, something about procrastination keeps drawing us back.

Scientists have found that there are many reasons for procrastinating. In an article about procrastination in Psychology Today, Dr Pamela Wiegartz proposes that fear of failure can lie behind many of our hours guiltily scrolling through memes. We delay the thing that makes us feel uncomfortable or inadequate in favour of something that makes us feel happy and safe.

Surprisingly, Wiegartz also suggests that sometimes we fear success rather than failure. She says that procrastination can be driven by a reluctance to show our true abilities, anxious that people will expect too much of us in the future.

Often, it’s as simple as the task we have to complete being very boring or unpleasant. In our increasingly connected world, where constant stimulation bombards us from every angle, tedious tasks just cannot compete for our attention. Why would we bore ourselves ironing shirts when we could watch dogs on skateboards instead?

But procrastination can be beaten, or at least minimised. The smartphone is often the temptress that leads us astray, so apps have been developed which lock your phone for a set period of time and reward you if you resist the temptation to scroll.

Methods to maximise your concentration including the Pomodoro method can also help, as they encourage you to focus fully for short periods of time and allow regular short breaks to maximise concentration.

Podcasts and audiobooks can be great companions through boring tasks, as they require little attention but offer plenty of stimulation to stop procrastination winning the battle. Or give yourself an incentive to get the job done, like lining up a fun activity or delicious snack that’s yours as soon as you’ve cleared the decks.

There’s no one size-fits-all solution to procrastination. But with the right techniques and self-knowledge, you may just kick the terrible habit. At least for today.

Published: 18 March 2018

© Copyright Just Recruitment 2019

If you liked this article you may like to read – How to compliment colleagues: a five-step guide

You may also like to read – Five habits of great employees

Jobs currently available

New job
QA Manager
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Saffron Walden
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910873
About the role

Our client is seeking an experienced Quality Assurance Manager to join them on a permanent, full-time basis. This opportunity offers stability, longevity and professional development.

Reporting directly to the MD, the Quality Assurance Manager will be responsible for:

  • Maintaining and improving the Company's Quality Management System and ensure internal compliance
  • Working with all departments to ensure their procedures are being followed and to improve their internal and cross-functional processes and procedures
  • Ensure that the quality of current and newly introduced products is compliant and traceable
  • Coordinate Quality activities with all over departments
  • Develop and improve quality relationships with all customers of the Company
  • Responsible for all Quality activities and personnel in the Quality Department for the Company
  • Provide strong leadership in the day-to-day operations of the Quality department and mentor the members of the team
  • Establish performance goals for all departmental employees and monitor performance on a continual basis
  • Oversee all hiring, appraisal, training and discipline of Quality personnel
  • Member of the Company's Management team
  • Produce the Quality element of the company's annual Budget
  • Formulate the departmental strategy aligned to the overall Company strategy
  • Embed a Continuous Improvement culture within the Quality Dept and contribute to the Continuous Improvement programme across the site

Requirements:

  • HND or equivalent qualification in Engineering or a related technical field required
  • Minimum 5 years experience in a Manufacturing environment
  • Ability to articulate (verbally and in writing), defend and negotiate Quality expectations with internal and external customers at all levels of management
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to guide and educate/train at all levels
Read more
New job
Customer Service Administrator
Sector: Customer Service
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910871
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a well-regarded organisation at the forefront of its sector that is looking to add a Customer Service Administrator to its team, due to growth – based on the outskirts of Halstead.

The main purpose of the role is to service current and prospective customers by receiving and processing orders, enquiries and general information in a timely and courteous manner.

Key tasks include:

  • Answering incoming calls, giving product information, lead times, dealing with general enquiries and queries, redirecting calls to relevant departments
  • Raising and inputting orders and proforma invoices
  • Raising quotations
  • Amending orders, as required
  • Scanning documentation
  • Liaising with Areas Sales Managers and responding to their requests
  • Arranging couriers and/or carriers as required
  • Any general office associated duties

Key requirements for the role:

  • Excellent computer skills
  • Good eye for detail
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Courteous

Previous experience requirements:

  • Previous Customer Service Administrative experience gained within an office environment
  • Excellent telephone manner with the ability to communicate at all levels
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office and experience of in-house systems
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritise own workload
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Understanding of the importance of data protection and adherence to the process

Offering free parking and an excellent working environment, this is a great opportunity to join a growing team.

Working Monday to Friday 37.5 hours per week - offering a competitive salary and company benefits.

Read more
New job
Production Operative
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £8.91 per hour
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 910811
About the role

Want to work in a safe, clean environment?
And have the possibility of ongoing work?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Temporary Production Operative to be based in Needham Market.

Duties include:

  • Ensure all final and completed products are packed to the customer specifications                               
  • Informing Line Leaders of defects found in the products
  • Keep machines supplied with packing materials and labels
  • Assist the Line Leaders with handovers and changeovers
  • Responsible for general cleanliness of the production area and removal of production and general waste
  • Check products on the line for quality and defects
  • Basic production duties carried out in a fast-paced environment

Working hours:

8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Read more
New job
Logistics Coordinator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £24,000 per annum
Location: Ipswich
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910869
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Ipswich.

You will be responsible for assisting with the loads out operation of the business by ensuring that the process from collection to arrival at the final destination is fully supported by the relevant goods in haulage documentation.

You will also be supporting the sales function of the business by dealing with customer queries in terms of both sales and operations as well as assisting with various ad-hoc marketing campaigns. This is a very varied role and requires flexibility, commitment and a substantial desire to learn and grow with the flourishing business.

Duties will include:

  • Process orders and oversees the order to completion of paperwork
  • Facilitate the shipping of products from one destination to another
  • Arrange transportation with outside hauliers
  • Receive paperwork from the Weighbridge department and check and complete the paperwork within the allocated time allowed
  • Answer calls and emails relating to customer queries and log them on the CRM system and resolve any outstanding issues raised
  • Keep CRM records up-to-date
  • Work with the sales and operations team to ensure that high customer service levels are achieved and delivered to all customers you are responsible for at all times

Skills required:

  • Good Microsoft skills including Word, Outlook & Excel
  • Ability to work proactively on an independent basis as well as be a good team player
  • You will have the interpersonal skills necessary to develop and sustain effective relationships with team members of other departments and with all customers
  • Good attention to detail and analytical skills
Read more