DISTRACTIONS & PRODUCTIVITY
Can you relate to this?
You woke up in the morning with the mindset of ticking all the boxes on your to-do list, but all of a sudden you discovered that you got carried away with other things that you didn't plan to do. You were scrolling through your phone and before you know it you saw a comedy skit that you love and you decide to check more and more. Then you got a call from an old friend that lasted for a couple of minutes. Then you remember you had to eat before you start working and by the time you finished with your meal you checked the time and it was some minutes after one in the hot afternoon. Then you begin to wonder why the day was so fast!
These kind of scenario in the short excerpt above can pose a serious problem to a person who wants to be successful. It is quite possible to be busy all day with one or two engagements but it doesn't mean that you are productive. Productivity is when you are doing the right things your time and it is yielding positive results. A big challenge to productivity is distractions. It is very difficult to be productive if you are someone who get distracted easily. You must be able to deal with distractions effectively if you want to make progress every day. Take a short break to think about how many times you've been distracted today. Are you proud of yourself?
One way to avoid distractions when you are working is to first work on your mind. To ensure that you are on track, consider that using your phone (too long) for work unrelated purposes is a taboo. I put "too long" in bracket because you can avoid using it all. Do not give room for excessive side talks that will get you engrossed and make you lose track of time and by extension reducing your productivity. Doing this efficiently will help you to do the right things at the right time. This mentality will help you to be more productive because once you are attending to work you don't give room for any other thing apart from work.
Sometimes, I lock the door to my room when I need to write but I could not find the right words to use, especially when the house is too noisy with so much people gisting, watching movies etc. When I see that I can not lock the door to the room based on one or more reasons, I make use of the restroom - which I have discovered is even one of my best spot to put my ideas together. (This is a topic for another day). This technique can be used as well when you've got important tasks to accomplish but it seems that you keep switching off each time you start.
Depending on how urgent or important the task is, you can set a timer for 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours etc, and you would not open the door until you are done. You can take some minutes break in between so that you can recharge and go again. Also, you can put your phone on silent, "do not disturb" mode or even switch it off so that distractions would not come from it. With no distractions and a set target, you'll be able to accomplish your set target.
Flashback to school days, each hour is dedicated to a particular course/subject and the moment the hour is up the next teacher is at the door to begin the next class or the students may have to move to the next lecture room. This is a tool you can use to get the best out of your day as an individual too.
If you assign certain hours of the day to specific tasks you will know when to attend to each and the duration that you have at your disposal. For instance, you can can assign 8am to 9am to checking and replying your emails, 9am to 9.30am to remind the people who are owing your company to make their payment as at when due, 9.30am to 10am to meet with your team, etc. Design your day in this manner every day and be sure to stick to the plan.
If you want to be able to tick all the boxes in your to-do list at the end of the day and do not want to act surprise when you realized that you have not even started your day's task by noon , you must ensure that you work towards being productive.