If you ever played in Little League, you may remember how easy it was to be pulled away from the game. As a five-year-old, I was in a T-ball league that had its field near a fire station. Whenever the department received a call, all play would stop as two, slack-jawed teams watched the hook and ladder round the corner, lights blazing and sirens wailing.

Adults are no less susceptible to such spectacles. How many times, for example, have you slowed down to watch a car accident on your way to work?

The same is true when a train wreck of a presidential election occurs. You can bet that your employees have spent an inordinate amount of time checking news sites for ballot results during the past few weeks instead of working. And although CNN and MSNBC have had banner weeks, it’s likely your productivity has taken a dip.

Politics notwithstanding, there are plenty of day-to-day distractions that can hobble your company’s ability to get things accomplished. Short of putting cameras on your employees’ desktops or screaming, “GET TO WORK!” at half-hour intervals, how do you keep your employees productive? Are there methods that work best for your organization? Does your business use “productivity” software? Have you ever tried something that blew up in your face?

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