You’re trying to have a good and productive day, so that you can accomplish all your goals, stay on top of stresses, and have the life you’ve always imagined. However, there seems to always be something getting in your way. These are some of the top distractions and how you can avoid letting them derail your day.
Effective communication is one of the best things you can do to cut down on wasted time. One of the biggest time-wasters is having business conversations with no specific goals or end objectives in mind. Rather than having some banter, have updates and reports ready.
Sure, a little bit of personal conversation can go a long way in building good relationships with your colleagues, but if you find yourself spending more time talking or wondering about whether or not a specific campaign is working well than it would take to just pull up the campaign and find out for sure, that’s where your problem is. When your colleagues come over and want to start brainstorming with no clear direction, kindly tell them that you don’t know right now and will look it up and get back to them as soon as you’re able.
Interruptions can get into your workdays in countless numbers of ways, from a coworker asking if you got a second to emails that people want you to respond to immediately. Great time management makes sure that you stay on track and your projects don’t get disrupted.
When possible, block out times during your day when you don’t want any distractions. Let your coworkers know that those hours are for you to really get stuff done, and that if they need something from you to please wait until after your work block is done. Setting these boundaries can be a great way to respectfully manage the expectations of your coworkers an ensure that you still have time to get all of your work done too.
Sometimes it can be very tempting to find excuses to postpone and interrupt important projects and tasks, especially tasks you’ve been dreading. Before you know it, you may have so many reasons not to do something that getting back to work can be challenging. Often, procrastination is a road to trouble that you must avoid at all costs. To counteract this, set aside a time for the tasks you’re putting off, put away all your distractions, and tell yourself that once you’ve accomplished the task you’ll reward yourself with some leisure time or a treat.
For some people, the biggest challenge to managing their time is their coworkers, friends, family members, and other people. You can’t have a successful time management system if you are available to everyone immediately when they want something from you. For example, if I keep my phone where I can see it, I will constantly be getting interrupted by notifications. So, I tell my friends that I don’t have my phone on me at work, and only check is sparingly throughout the day in case of emergency.
If you have a couple people in particular who are taking up a lot of your time and distracting you, sit down with them and explain why you can’t be their buddy all day, every day.
5. WORK-FAMILY BALANCE
This can be one of the trickiest things to manage. Some people work too much, and neglect their family life while others put their family above everything and neglect their work. Neither options is ideal.
To help balance your work-family balance, sit down and decide what a healthy balance looks like for you. Then schedule it out. If your idea of a work life balance means that you’re done with work at 5, then be done with work at five. Don’t keep checking emails, don’t let the stresses of that day’s problems follow you into playtime with the kids. Try to let the office stuff stay at the office so that you can have fun with your family.
Alternatively, try to schedule family events around your work schedule. If you need to leave early every day to pick up your kids, schedule in a couple hours each night to help catch up on work you may have missed out on. While work and time management are important, you also need to set your priorities straight and make sure that you devote a portion of your time to the things that matter the most to you.
6. KEEPING MANAGERS ON TRACK
Keeping your coworkers on track may be important and difficult, but doing so with your boss is also crucial and can be challenging. If your supervisor is the one who always asks you if you “got a second,” you need to elevate your diplomacy skills and find a way to stay productive. A good boss with respect your boundaries and time-management system if you take the time to explain and set the expectations with them. They want you to succeed too.
7. START SMALL
Managing your time doesn’t happen at once. It’s a journey and a process. If you haven’t been managing your time well and all the sudden decide to set up 15 different time-management systems and apps to help you be mege, over productive. Then you will get burned out and you will ultimately end up failing. Now with an added resentment towards time-management systems.
Instead, start with one or two things that can help you get your time-management system off to a good start. As you master those things, add more. During this journey, you will have times when you’ll feel disappointed. It is important to give yourself credit when credit is due and reward yourself so that you can keep going in getting things done.
8. THE EXPANSION OF TASKS
Have you ever had a task that you were so sure would take just a couple minutes to complete, only to discover an unforeseen difficulty makes the task take all day. Or that there are more parts to it than you realize that are going to take more time? These types of situations can be super frustrating and sometimes cause people to shut down completely when their plans start derailing.
Instead, take a deep breath, reevaluate where you’re at, and adjust your expectations according to this new information. Setbacks happen. How you react to them can make all the difference.
What are your biggest productivity distractions and how have you learned to counteract them? Share with us in the comments below!
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