Getting Rid of Distraction of Optimize Your Time
This is one of the most frequently appearing topics that I run into when working with my clients- how getting rid of distractions can help optimize their time and productivity. Did you know that the average person spends just over 2 hours per day actually working at their jobs, and the rest of the time is dealing with distraction? Yes, only 2 hours.
The other 6 (or more) hours are spent on:
- Social media
- Checking/responding to unimportant email
- Talking on the phone
- Answering texts
- Talking to co-workers about non-work topics
- Waiting for other people to deliver material so that you can proceed with your own work
- In meetings
- Solving the problems of another co-worker
- Talking with clients
While some of the items listed above may seem relevant to your work, you’re probably being inefficient at doing them.
What if I told you that you can dramatically enhance your productivity?
Well, you can. You simply need to learn to control distractions. Your time is the one thing in your life that, once gone, you can never gain more of. Never Ever. Why not spend it being productive, making the world a better place, and most importantly, feeling great about how you are using your time?
Here are some solutions to the items I’ve listed above. Take them to heart, apply the strategies, and you’ll operate your life far more effectively.
Limit your access to social media to no more than 20 minutes per day, spend exclusively during NON WORKING hours. 10 minutes in the morning, just before you head off to work, and another 10 minutes in the evening, just after getting home is more than enough. You don’t need to “Like” everyone’s posts, either. If you post content, make it brief and concise. Don’t respond to comments. Nobody really cares anyway!
CHECKING/RESPONDING TO UNIMPORTANT EMAIL
This is a big one. Set aside time in the 1st half hour of your workday to check your email. Most messages don’t warrant an immediate reply, and 90% of all email is junk or nonapplicable anyway. Delete, delete, delete. Only respond to those emails that have a time sensitive urgency to them. Then, don’t check your email until the next morning!
TALKING ON THE PHONE
Did you know that you don’t have to answer every call you receive? In fact, everyone who is close to you already knows that you’re at work, so they really shouldn’t be bothering you. It’s ok to set your phone on silent, then check your messages at lunch, and again when you leave. If it’s an emergency, they should dial 911, not your cellphone.
Texts are a blessing and a curse. If you start responding to a text, and it becomes a conversation, you’ll be texting every couple of minutes, in single sentences, for a long time. If you use your phone for work, if you receive a text, check it and make a decision about whether it needs an immediate response, or can wait. Almost nothing is that important. If it was, they’d be calling you on your work telephone. Even better, turn your text notifications off, check them at lunch, and again at the end of the day.
TALKING TO CO-WORKERS ABOUT NON-WORK TOPICS
Many times, we end up spending more time at work than anywhere else. In fact, our co-workers become our friends and adopted family. Want to spend more time with your co-worker friends and your real family outside of your workplace? Then stop wasting time talking with them at work! They have as much work to do as you do (perhaps more). Politely let them know that you’re happy to talk over a beer after work, but you need to stay focused and on task. Don’t stand at the water cooler, wasting the day.
WAITING FOR OTHER PEOPLE TO DELIVER MATERIAL SO THAT YOU CAN PROCEED WITH YOUR OWN WORK
Yep, this is a huge time waster. I promise you that there are a number of things you need to take care of that don’t involve waiting on someone else. This is a perfect opportunity to respond to those emails which warrant reply, make call-backs to clients, set up appointments, or work on back burner projects that will eventually be a more important priority. Just don’t do nothing…
Most meeting are a huge waste of time. If you’re the one scheduling it, limit it to 15-20 minutes (or encourage the person who schedules it to do so). Believe it or not, you will use exactly the amount of time you have allotted for the meeting. This is the Parkinson’s Principle. If you schedule a 1 hour time slot for a meeting, the meeting will go 1 hour, no matter what. If you only schedule 15 minutes, you’ll use that amount of time to accomplish the same as you needed 1 hour for. Just prepare an itinerary and get to business.
SOLVING THE PROBLEMS OF ANOTHER CO-WORKER
Sorry, but you were hired for a specific purpose. Your co-worker was hired to fill another purpose. If they can’t perform their work effectively, and you get roped into helping them (without your boss’s request, of course), you’ll be neglecting your own duties as an employee. They’re gonna have to troubleshoot their own stuff, or you can give them a hand in your FREE time, not during your WORK time.
TALKING WITH CLIENTS
This works the same way as the meeting. The Parkinson’s Principle is real. If you allot an open ended window to speak with clients, they will use as much of your time as they want. If you say, OK Joe Blow, I can speak with you today from 2-2:15, they will begin the meeting with a specific agenda, questions, and will be ready to go. You’ve primed them by limiting their time.
Want more of your own time? Stop wasting it or giving it away to others! As you become more effective, you’ll have far more time to do whatever you want!