May 16, 2012
Your day begins with a clear plan for accomplishing tasks. By mid-morning, you have become frustrated with the world getting in your way. Interruptions, unforeseen requests, and misjudged time allotments create a lack of focus in your concentration.
The shiny gadgets are cool for being productive, but it really boils down to what you have going on in your head and how you discipline yourself. Here are 4 key areas:
If your job is mainly interrupt-driven, then you need to see interruptions as anticipated and not dreaded. That small mindset adaptation can make a big difference in your sanity and focus.
Discipline with Time
Even if you are adept at time management, you’ll likely still run into issues when a change-of-plans affects the schedule. At least begin with a schedule that looks workable and go from there. Check your to-do list for time allotments and anchor them to a spot on your calendar. This can be really useful for managing email loads. Turn off the email chime and only review emails at a dedicated time. This will keep you from drifting from a concentrated task.
Occasionally try tackling short-term tasks to get you back on focus. This gets some momentum going and can engage your brain in instant clarity.
If you have to leave a task when you are in the middle of making progress, see that as actually good! Why? Because it means that when you come back later to pick up the task you will be able to jump right into something with some pace and know where to start.
Discipline with your Space
A place for everything and everything in its place. So simple! Assess your workspace for what is in your line of fire, what you must have closely at hand, and whether those 2 align. Don’t you feel efficient when your workspace is clean and organized? There is a direct correlation to productivity and environment so control yours.
PS – THE PODCASTS can be listened to directly from your smartphone by clicking on the link from your phone’s email.
Head Game Management
Time management directly affects stress management.
Funny thing though … your stress is not a result of what happens to you. It is a result of what you make of what happens to you. Back to that first tip – adjust your mindset to expect interruptions and you will see them as more manageable.
I have this mental red flag … when I start to see myself spinning up, this flag raises. Rather than immediately trying to “fix” it, I simply label it. That is, I put a name or description to what is happening. I may tell myself “I am getting upset” or “I feel my body tensing up because I am anxious that I am spending a lot of time on this inane task” or “something this guy just said seems to have put me on the defensive.” ALL great self-recognition indicators and they will lead to self-management.