Workplace Hack: The Distraction Chair

Getting distracted is natural.

Facebook and Twitter notifications, incoming emails, text messages and strange interesting conversations going on in the office are all likely to distract us from our work.

I’m a big believer in regular breaks between tasks. A quick game of pool, 5 minutes browsing Twitter or glancing over an interesting article gives me a chance to relax briefly before getting on to the next task.

However, once you start browsing or reading Tweets, you can end up losing a lot more than 5 minutes. Your desk becomes a place for you to do your online shopping, read the news, catch up with friends on Facebook, and stops being a place to work.

Today’s workplace hack comes from writer and designer, Jack Cheng, who finds that a little browsing and catching up on emails is fine, as long as he leaves his desk to do it…

“I do most of my work from home, and in my apartment I have a comfortable chair reserved for e-mail, checking status updates, and leisurely surfing the web. I call it my “distraction chair.” I try to reserve my work desk for actual work—writing, designing, and coding—and when I feel the inclination to read Twitter or check e-mail, I move to the lounge chair.”

By reserving his desk for work, and his comfy chair for leisure, Jack was able to create a new habit. Knowing that, should he want to check his emails or Twitter, he’d have to move across the room, gave Jack that little push he needed to stay at his desk a bit longer and get things done.

A distraction chair will help you to associate your desk with work, making it easier to focus on work while at your desk, giving you the time you need to get things done.

How do you manage your distractions? Share your experiences in the comments below.


This hack is part of a series of weekly workplace hacks that teaches you about collaboration, productivity and time saving tips. Published every Wednesday.

Photo Credit: CJS*64 via Compfight cc