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Positive Distractions At Work: 4 Ways To Boost Productivity

9 min read
Last Updated on 17 November, 2022

Workplace distractions are often misunderstood as negatives. Very few people can agree that it is a good thing as well! However, the good news is that distractions can help you stay productive!

Unlike the commonly held belief that workplace distraction is terrible and hinders productivity and engagement. Having distractions at work is not so bad after all. As a matter of fact, it can boost your creativity and productivity at work.

The same distractions you might worry about disturbing your workflow can boost your productivity. It has been observed during the pandemic that people are more likely to be creative when they're working from their comfort zones.

Let's explore more about the same in this article. This article will further discuss positive distractions at work and how they can benefit your productivity.

What Is A Positive Distraction At Work?


Positive distraction means distracting yourself from stressors or mundane activities at work by thinking or engaging yourself in activities that induce positive emotions and behaviors. These are the distractions that positively impact your productivity in the workplace.

"It was exactly what I wanted-beautiful distraction."- Maggie Steifvater

Further, positive distractions help you to recharge and rest your mind to be more creative and prevent you from experiencing burnout. They help you to escape from the hustle and bustle at work and encourage better mental health.

Suggested Read : 20 Fun Social Wellness Activities for the Workplace

How Are Positive Distractions Different From Negative Ones?


When you're more aware of your decisions and choices, it helps you turn your distractions from unhealthy to more healthy ones. Unhealthy distractions are usually used as a coping mechanism to avoid certain feelings, activities, and situations that can be challenging and stressful. Avoidance is the key factor in turning to unhealthy distractions when you're on the verge of exhaustion.

Some of the most common examples of you engaging in unhealthy distractions are -

  • Alcohol and substance abuse

  • Smoking habits

  • Obsession with social media

  • Unhealthy food habits

  • Binge-watching tv

  • Lack of physical activity

  • Indulging in gambling

  • Too much multitasking

  • Indulging in gossips

  • Cluttered workspace

However, you can turn some of these distractions into healthy ones by engaging in them in moderation and in more productive ways. Although it can get quite difficult to resist or the temptation to stop yourself can be challenging, there's always to replace them with a positive one. The first step is to be aware of them and then take action to replace those with healthy ones.

Suggested Read : Social Media Detox: All You Need To Know

5 Healthy Workplace Distractions That Positively Impact Your Productivity


Engaging in healthy workplace distractions can be beneficial for your productivity, and it can also boost your energy to be more focused. When done in moderation, a constructive distraction can positively impact your creativity and productivity at work. You need to find what works for you and what distractions or activities will motivate you to focus more.

Here are a few healthy distractions that you can engage yourself in that'll be both rewarding and refreshing -

1. Socializing


Socializing or the benefit of knowing your co-workers are many. It is important to interact with your colleagues as it enhances your communication skills. It is also a great way to give yourself a break and learn more about your team's strengths, eventually making your working experience smooth. It is also an effective way to improve employee morale, productivity, and loyalty.

Suggested Read : Social Wellness: A Determining Factor For Employee Wellness At Work

2. Coffee or tea breaks

Taking short breaks for coffee, tea, or even a walk is a great way to reduce stress. Breaks are important to ease your mind from the constant stress and workload pressures. A break should take 5 minutes or 10 minutes from your screen.
It only gives your mind rest but always rejuvenates your mind with more motivation to work. And without motivation, productivity will suffer. Thus, scheduling short breaks in your day can give your mind a brief amount of rest to perform at its peak.

Suggested Read : 8 Awesome Ideas For Brain Breaks For Adults

3. Power naps


Taking power naps in between work can be both a refreshing and healthy option. Although napping at work might not sound productive, according to a recent study, taking a 10-15 minutes power nap will make you more alert and productive at work.

Sleep experts say that a 15-minute power nap will help to ease your mind and improve your mood and alertness. You can even try this out with the help of fitness apps like Vantage Fit, which has the feature mood meter to check the difference post and pre-nap.

Because of its many benefits and how much it improves your productivity, many companies worldwide are encouraging power naps as a part of their wellness program.

Suggested Read : How Sleep Deprivation Affects Work Performance

4. Meditation

Meditation is a technique that has been practiced around the world since ancient times for its mental and physical health benefits. Workplace stress can take up a lot of your energy and can push you on the verge of a breakdown. But you can always opt for a positive distraction like practicing meditation at work.

Meditation at work doesn't necessarily have to be complicated. In contrast to conventional meditation practices such as crossing your legs and humming mantras, it can be as simple as just closing your eye. You can also practice meditation by sitting on your chair, and listening to mindful music through wellness apps like Vantage fit.

The first way to practice meditation at work is to release stress from your mind. You can do it by practicing office yoga, desk exercises, or mantra meditation.

5. Exercise or physical activities

Again, if you're occupied and exhausted at work, it's a good idea to take a break from your desk. You can indulge in some physical activities or perform exercises if your workplace has a gym. Even if your organization doesn't have an in-house gym, you can always do office or desk exercises to release muscle tension.

It is also a healthy way to reduce stress and anxiety, as any exercise you do will help your body release endorphins. A little extra exercise daily will also do great things for your health. It will boost your energy and leads to fewer sick days and better productivity.

Suggested Read : 18 Lesser-Known Stress Relief Activities & Ideas for Office

4 Benefits Of Positive Distraction At Work

In terms of productivity and employee engagement, distractions at work are considered negative factors. However, this is not always the case. Like everything else, it has its pros and cons.

When it comes to your mental health and focus, distractions at work can be a healthy way to cope. It all comes down to your level of self-awareness. It is easy to change your sources of distraction from unhealthy ones to more productive ones if you are aware of your limits.

Here are 4 benefits of having positive distractions at work -

1. You can use Positive distractions to promote positive behavior and thinking.


Depending on your mood and situation, distractions can be positive or negative. It can either be a time and productivity saver or a drain in your workplace.

It is important to understand that workplace stress can depress your mood rather quickly. Therefore, distractions can be helpful in this situation. Changing your focus from something that is frustrating and bothering you to something more engaging and interesting can be beneficial.

Here are a few instances at work where you can use the help of distractions -

  • When you're cranky or in a bad mood.

  • When you're feeling exhausted or have been sitting all day long.

  • When you're having trouble focusing at work or finding it difficult to communicate with your co-worker.

Suggested Read : 21 Positive Thinking Ideas For A Workplace To Encourage

2. Positive distractions can make you more creative.


In the wake of the pandemic, many things have changed, especially the working culture. It has changed dramatically and working from home and remote working has become the new normal where people can work from anywhere to feel more comfortable and productive.

You have probably seen or noticed that people's creative sparks are at their peak when they are distracted, such as taking a shower, working out, or even meditating.

It is often the case that the more you focus on solving a problem, the more elusive the answer becomes. However, when preoccupied with other stimuli, your mind can wander and make free associations. A good distraction will help you to recharge, rest your mind, and help you in the long term.

Suggested Read : 7 Effective Ways to Prevent Work From Home Burnout

3. Positive distractions can help you prioritize your important tasks.


Throughout the years, distractions in the workplace have been bumped out as a negative thing. Hardly do people see it as a positive factor leading to maximum productivity at work. With limited time and energy, your work occupies almost all your space and time, leaving any to prioritize your important tasks for the day.

No matter how much you try, completing it with distractions on your plate can take a lot of work. It'll end up exhausting you mentally and physically.

" Focus on what you control and let go of what you can't."- Unknown

But it's all about your perspective, and if you look at its brighter side, you'll see that you're more likely to complete your tasks because of those distractions or stimuli.

Instead of obsessing over how you can't achieve or meet your goals, your distractions are the factors that help you hone and prioritize your abilities to focus more on prioritizing your tasks.

Having a positive distraction in the workplace is important to help you change your focus and energy into a more productive and positive one. It helps you to connect better with your colleagues and give yourself a break to rejuvenate and be more creative.

Suggested Read : 5 Signs Of Mental Exhaustion To Look For If You're Psyched Out At Work

4. Positive distraction can help you with better problem-solving.


Unlike the conventional opinion about how distraction can be negative and make you less productive at work, recent studies show otherwise. According to a research team from Carnegie Mellon University, distractions hardly impact your ability to work or focus on solving problems. Your brain is trained better and more flexibly to adjust to engage in multiple activities without hindering the other.

When you're engaged in a conversation with your co-worker or taking a break mid-work, it doesn't mean that your brain will forget the big tasks. Rather than return to work after the distractions, you return with a more renewed and fresh mindset. It helps you to refresh your mind and to work on problem-solving with a better focus.

Suggested Read : 20 Best Brain Exercises To Try At Work In 2022

Summing It Up

Thus, despite the popular belief that distractions at work are negative, there is a positive aspect of these distractions too. While most of them result in a way to free your mind from the same thought working minds get stuck on throughout the day, they also have a variety of other benefits and impacts on productivity.

However, by using your spare time to find a good distraction that works for you, you may find the one that makes waves in productivity.

I hope this article helped you better understand what positive distractions are and how they can be positive things.

This article is written by Neha Yasmin who is a content marketer at Vantage Circle. A selenophile with a penchant for discovering great meals and drinks. Is a self-proclaimed binge racer with a knack for cooking in her spare time. For queries, reach out to editor@vantagecircle.com

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