Does this sound familiar? You wake up excited with a very full day planned.
Just before you jump into your first action item, you decide to check your email.
And there it is … the first gremlin to take you off track. And one email leads to another – all seeming emergencies. After that, you need a break, right? Let’s pop on Facebook. What seems like a minute later is really 30 minutes. You have to laugh when you find yourself looking at your college roommate’s son’s funny-dog videos.
Okay, back to work…then the phone rings. It is a client who “needs you.” Before you know it, it is lunchtime.
Why is it that we start out with the best of intentions and can so quickly get distracted? I think it is because we don’t expect or have a plan to handle distractions.
How can we manage these distractions easier? Here are three tips.
1. Triage the distraction
As caring healers, I know you want to help people. But is it critical that you respond to that email, phone call or in-person request immediately? It is tempting to say ‘yes’ to everything. In the book, The Power of A Positive No, the author tells us that in order to say no to something or someone, we have to know what we are saying yes to. To say no to non-emergency distractions is to say yes to productivity, to your schedule and is respectful to you.
By all means take care of all emergencies as you deem appropriate but how to handle the others? That is the next tip.
2. Schedule time each day to manage the inevitable non-emergencies requests that come up. This means no more fully packing your day from sun up to sun down with planned tasks. Consider adopting the ‘swiss cheese calendar’ approach to time management. Leave holes in your calendar throughout the day to deal with the unexpected.
3. Consider being a bit less competent
I started my career in the 1970s. As a female (even though I was a professional) I was the one who was expected to get the coffee ready for meetings. The thing was I didn’t drink coffee nor know how to make it. I would fumble around until some nice man came over and did it. After a few times when I still didn’t get it, (I am a slow learner), management stopped asking me to make the coffee.
When you are slow to respond, it often gives others the chance to do things for themselves. This can be a win-win for everyone.
You are here to do great work. And people who accomplish great things make time to create those things. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself by giving yourself the space, time and focus to give your gift to the world.
Share your tips in the comment box below!
To your success,