Avoiding Distractions

Avoiding Distractions

I'm old enough to remember that after a particular hour, literally nothing was on television, and the screen would turn fuzzy. When someone needed to reach you by phone, they would leave a voicemail if you weren't home. We didn't have cell phones, so texting wasn't an option, and social media wasn't an option because the internet didn't exist. You might be wondering if a caveman is writing this by now, but I promise I'm not quite that old. 

Security Officers are hired to protect people and property. We do this by being consistent, visible, and having situational awareness. However, many things and people can distract us from our core focus daily. Security Officers using their cell phones are the #1 distraction, but plenty of others vie for our attention. 

Below are some common distractors: 

Co-Workers- If you work access control sitting at a desk, it instantly becomes a hang-out for employees. The problem with this water-cool mentality is thatit is a major distraction and just a bad look. It's never fun to be the bad guy, but you need to tell them to keep it moving. 

 Trying to Multitask- The short answer to whether people can multitask is no. Multitasking is a myth. The human brain cannot perform two tasks requiring high-level brain function simultaneously. Low-level functions like breathing and pumping blood aren't considered in multitasking. Only the tasks you have to "think" about are considered. What happens when you think you are multitasking is that you are rapidly switching between tasks. 

 Wearing too many hats- Maybe you have a big head like me, but even with a big head, it's designed to wear one hat at a time. If your job is understaffed, you might feel like you aren't being a team player if you don't help out. The next time you are "helping," ask yourself if this helps protect people & property. Suppose it doesn't politely decline to do it because you need to focus. 

We know that FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a real problem for some of us. I'm guilty, too, of allowing myself to get distracted occasionally, but I have created some ways to limit them. 

Below are a few: 

Time Blocking-Time blocking is a great way to tell ourselves this time is for a specific task. Set a timer if you need to and focus on your task at hand. 

Schedule Breaks-In the security world, we often work long hours, and our weeks are even longer. One mistake I usually see made is one long break all day vs. several more minor breaks. A 5-minute break can reset your energy for the day. 

Clarify Boundaries- Asking someone to step away from your post isn't rude; it's professional. There is a time and place for small talk, and it isn't at your work post if it hinders your ability to do your job. Continue the conversation with them later on your break. 

 It may not be easy, but we must remove distractions and remain focused. Remember, our job is to protect people and property, and that can't be accomplished if we are always distracted. 






Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.