Select Page
← Go Back

Heads up Dorothy – and your little dog, too. In today’s business environment, instead of worrying about lions, tigers and bears (oh my!), employees are endlessly under siege by a trio of distractions at work that are stealing focus, robbing energy, and paving the way for chronic under-performance: email, IM and chat.

Clarizen Email, IM & Chat Oh MyNow, this isn’t to say that employees should permanently swap their iPhones for yoga mats, and vote themselves off the technology island. When they’re used correctly, email, IM and chat can be wonderful tools.

However, there are times when we don’t use technology – it uses us. And this leads to distractions at work that, as noted, can derail individuals, teams and even organizations as a whole: yes, everyone is frenetically exchanging information; but no, not everyone is interacting, communication and collaborating.

What’s more, even for those who pine for a relatively simpler time when messages weren’t designated as instant or otherwise, we all know that there’s no going back. Anyone who decides to head off the grid might as well keep going (though first creating an automated out-of-office reply would be appreciated).

And so, since the only way we can head is forward – and the only scenario we can accept is to co-exist with emails, IMs and chat – below are four practical tips for avoiding distractions at work:

1. Schedule the Unscheduled

Instead of incessantly checking emails, IMs and chat requests (which of course you’re only doing because they’re just as incessantly demanding your attention), schedule a chunk of time to read and respond – such as the last 10 minutes of each hour. This will be tough to do at first, but once you get into a rhythm you’ll be amazed at the benefits to everything from your productivity, to your peace of mind.

2. Step Away Slowly from the Device and Nobody Gets Hurt

Fed up with being an extension of technology? Regain control by either turning off or leaving behind devices when you’re heading into meetings, getting on a call, going off to lunch, or heading into the restroom (no, you’re not the only one who does this). You’ll dial down distractions at work and concentrate better on *cough* “the matter at hand.” And don’t worry: your devices will still be there when you get back.

3. Filters are your Friend

Configure filters to automatically route incoming communication into folders, so you can target stuff that needs a quick response (e.g. pokes and pings from your boss or customers), and stuff that’s important but can wait a little while. Just ensure that you stay on top of your filters and re-configure them as necessary. Otherwise you’ll need filters for your filters, which is a whole new level of distractions at work that may require an A&E-style intervention.

4. Take it Online

Last but not least: request, persuade and/or plead with the Powers that Be to implement a collaborative work management solution, like Clarizen because it:

  • Efficiently connects internal and external stakeholders in designated virtual workspaces vs. disparate “all over the map” emails, IMs, Tweets, posts, etc.
  • Automatically puts emails, IMs and chats in context by linking them to their associated projects, deliverables and activities.
  • Integrates intelligent (read: work-centric) social media features to organize, classify and retrieve communication, such as tagging, #hashtags and @users.
  • Lets you rapidly search for any communication – including deep scans – from wherever you are, and whenever you’re working.
Moving Forward

Distractions at work aren’t new – they’ve been around since, well, work itself. However, as Dorothy and the rest of the Oz crew would readily agree (perhaps through a Reddit AMA), in today’s incredibly fast-paced technology-led environment, employees need greater awareness and better strategies – such as the four above — to stay focused and on track.

Learn More

To learn more about Clarizen, take a product tour and discover how it helps you and your colleagues dramatically reduce distractions at work, and boost productivity, performance and results.


What are you waiting for?

Learn why Clarizen is the right choice to engage your workforce and accelerate your business.

Learn How to Get 30% Higher Return on PPM Assets. Get the Full 2020 Gartner Market Guide
Preview: 2020 Gartner Market Guide for Adaptive Project Management & Reporting

Pick a PPM solution with the best capabilities to match your unique needs


In the 2020 Gartner Market Guide for Adaptive Project Management & Reporting guide, Gartner, Inc. provides recommendations and evaluation criteria for executives and PMO leaders assessing Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions. This guide outlines the adaptive project management and reporting process flow as well as a market review of current providers in the following categories:

  • - Existing pure-play PPM providers
  • - Collaborative work management (CWM) providers
  • - Enterprise agile planning (EAP) providers
  • - Technology Platform providers from other markets

The guide provides insight into how well a product or service fulfills certain functional capabilities – with a forward-looking market direction and analysis provided.

In the report, Gartner, Inc. mentions/states that “by 2024, 50% of all program and portfolio management (PPM) leaders will integrate complementary technologies to enable portfolio decision making and adaptive work management for digital business evolution.”

Clarizen offers a complete solution that connects work across the enterprise, turning ideas into strategies, plans, and action. With Clarizen, organizations can work the way they want to work and have real time visibility across all workstreams in their portfolio. This keeps teams focused on the things that matter, provides the real-time information needed to make more accurate and timely decisions, and delivers results faster to meet and even exceed company goals and customers’ expectations.

Discover what sets Clarizen apart from other vendors in the marketplace.
If you like the preview and want the FULL PDF file, please provide your information and you can download it
Buyer’s guide to project management software
1/2