Protect Your Time!
Today in less than 5 minutes we are going to cover:
Protecting Your Time Jon Sholter
In our last newsletter we talked about scheduling the big rocks in your life. Which of course is easier said than done. Once you schedule some of those big rocks, how do you ensure you hold true to your schedule?
You can read our last post here.
So once you finally commit to the time you set aside for your big rocks, how do you ensure you will be productive?
When getting into a project/task we want to enter a flow state. This basically means we are in the zone. You know those times where you are fully immersed in something and all of the sudden an hour has gone by? That's flow.
However, we cannot get into this state if we are constantly interrupted and distracted. Distractions are more impactful to our productivity than we give them credit for, even if minimal. Let's think of the things that distract us the most.
Whenever you sit down for a task, how often do you find yourself checking your email? Do you have email notifications popping up all over the place? Do you find yourself clicking on them? I bet you're a great multitasker :)
Solution Try setting specific times of the day to look at your email. Emails are hardly ever urgent, if they are, they really should be getting in touch with you via another method. In any case, even a semi urgent email can usually wait a few hours.
Going Further There's a great piece of software called Sanebox. This application automatically filters your emails so you are not plagued with a bunch of random messages throughout the day. They also have a do not disturb function which keeps your emails hidden and sends them out to you all at once during set times. IE You can get emails delivered at 9AM, then not get any emails again until 1PM for example. This is a great product! Check it out here .
Perhaps not just a work hack, but a life hack. If you've never gone through the process of evaluating your phone notifications, now is the time. Do you really need a notification for every email? Do you need notifications for Instagram and Facebook?
Solution I challenge you to test yourself on these, you'll find the decluttering of your mind a major relief. Set aside an hour and start reworking the notifications on your phone .
Going further When you get down into your deep work, you may want to strongly consider hiding your phone altogether (depending on the task). What's the worst that can happen? You miss a call? That's what voicemail is for. Even the act of having your phone within eye sight has been proven to be significantly distracting.
Close your door
Many hotel managers love to proclaim they have an open door policy. However, an open door policy does not mean you cannot close your door from time to time.
Solution You might want to close your door in the mornings until you get caught up with your routine. You then might want to close your door during set times during the day where you get into deep work. If you are consistent with this, it will not come as a surprise to your Collegues.
Going further Explain to your Team what it means when your door is closed, what items can they interrupt you for? You might even want to hang a do not disturb tag on the handle :)
Make sure your productivity tools don't lead to something more unproductive. For example, listening to music with words is not going to help you think. Going on Youtube to find work music to help you write an article and then clicking on a random video and watching 10 minutes of your life disappear is not going to help either (literally just did this), I'm not perfect!
Solution Try to minimize all windows except those that are absolutely critical when you get down to business.
Going further You can download an app called Forest for your web browser and phone. When you turn it on, you can blacklist websites and apps from being used so you stay completely focused on the task at hand for a set amount of time. Check it out here .
This article is long enough already. Let's wrap it up so we can all get back to work!
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