Hey you! Yes, you. Stop reading IDEAL magazine and hop to it; there’s work to be done. Ok, maybe first, finish this article. View it as an investment.

Everyone is guilty of procrastinating – even as we type this, we’re perusing buzzfeed lists and cute animal videos – but some of us (yep, us) are far worse than others. And employers might want to take note as new research reveals that office workers are spending a whopping 1 day, 2 hours and 6 minutes over the space of a year watching the office antics of others alone. Add this to the amount of time we spend on social media or making unnecessary cups of tea or coffee that only go cold, and that’s a lot of time spent procrastinating. 

The research, conducted by Direct Blinds looked into how much time we actually spend distracted from our work schedules and found that  people watching from the office is one of the main culprits with office workers spending 2 hours 30 minutes every month ‘people watching. With this in mind here are 4 IDEAL ways to deal with procrastination in the office.


All it takes is a message from a friend on your phone and your focus will spiral out of control and you’ll start looking at something completely unrelated to what you were doing before. Therefore it’s important to find out what distracts you when you’re working and remove it. Do you find yourself singing along to songs? Turn off the music and put on something more relaxing. Are you constantly on your phone? Lock it in a drawer and turn on silent mode. Constantly snacking? Eat a meal before you work to beat cravings. Wondering what those people outside your office window are talking about? Get some blinds.

Distractions are the main cause of procrastination and you need to find ways to get rid of them as best as you can. You could even enlist the help of your friends and colleagues and tell them you’re not to be disturbed and sink into some solid work. All the fun things will still be there when you finish, but you’ll have actually made some money with which you can appreciate them more.


We can’t be expected to work the whole day with no breaks or breathers. Set specific times for your breaks as knowing when you’ll be able to nip out to the shop or eat your lunch will help keep you motivated so you can get those tasks out of the way first. Then you’ll come back refreshed and ready to tackle the next task with verb and vigour. Indeed, studies have shown that workers are at their most productive when they work at 45-minute spells and then take a 15-minute break. It’s a perfect excuse to go for a walk and get some fresh air.


It can often feel like you’re juggling a million things at once in the office, causing you to feel overwhelmed, which in turn leads to distraction. Planning ahead is a fantastic way to avoid this feeling and get focused for your day in the office. Start your day with a to-do list, setting aside 15 minutes in the morning before you delve into your workload. Prioritising and separating tasks into more manageable chunks then, with designated times and targets, serves to break up the monumental task considerably. A visual list of what lies ahead can help your focus as you cross-off your way to the end of the day.


A messy desk, and a messy mind; two states which seemingly go hand in hand. So re- organise your space. If the root of your clutter problem does not lie in the rubbish, but in a lack of storage, get some savvy sorting solutions like a desk organiser to help you minimise clutter and bring real organisation to your workplace. It’s about entering the minimalist zone, trying to get rid of any and all distractions that threaten to take your eye off the work in hand. Because once you lose focus, it can be difficult to regain it. And de-cluttering your workspace isn’t just about the physical stuff, go through your desktop and clean that up too. 




Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.