Where’s Your Head At? The Cost of Distraction In Business

Focus. Drive. Attention to detail. You know the importance of these traits. They may very well be a cornerstone of your business. But there are obstacles in your way. The greatest of those is distraction. Distraction comes from many places. Social media. Misuse of your time. Stress. Whatever the cause is, you must eliminate it. Let’s go into the costs that show exactly why you can’t afford distraction.


A distracted mind is one that isn’t paying full attention to the tasks at hand. Data is misinterpreted, which leads to small mistakes that can have big costs over time. Forgetting a meeting might make you late, and punctuality is crucial to professionalism. Trying to do too many things at once could see an email sent to the wrong person. If your focus is slipping like that, it’s a good chance that you need a break in a different space. Refresh your mind elsewhere, stop taking lunch breaks at the desk and come back renewed.


This is where you might see the most immediate losses. If you’re unproductive, you’re losing money. Unproductivity isn’t just caused by spending too much time on Facebook. It’s caused by an inability to manage your time well enough that you can give tasks your full attention. Check out this video podcast to better structure your work day. Set an hour or half-an-hour to take care of emails so you’re not checking your inbox every ten minutes. Batch different tasks together so you’re doing jobs while you’re “in the zone” for them. For instance, if two jobs require you to use a Word Processor to write, it’s more productive to do them one after the other instead of switching to Excel for another task between them. Your mind switches gear every time you move to a different task. That takes time. You can get that time back by using fewer gear switches.


You’ve built a brand that’s vital to the business so why are you killing it? There’s a good chance that your mind isn’t in the game enough to remember the brand identity and how important consistency is to it. When you tackle communications, make sure you take a moment to consider what the value of your message is and who it’s going to. Don’t just start typing without visualizing the conversation and what voice you’re using for it. It’s not a bad idea to create a brand primer for every time you’re working on marketing or content, either.


Perhaps the worst effect of distraction is the failure to listen to and pay attention to clients. This leads to complacency and the idea that you know what they want better than you actually do. That misinformation starts to infect your decision making and eventually you lose touch with the people you need a connection to the most.

What will help cure your distraction? Better management of your time? Waking up earlier to lay out your goals and get into gear for the day? Maybe even another employee? You need to think about what’s stealing your focus and steal it right back. Success depends on it.