I thought I’d take a little different approach to this weeks blog post. I saw a post about time/distraction management and it struck a chord with me. We all struggle through our busy days trying to juggle a million different tasks, while trying to being responsive to calls/inquiries/emails/texts/etc. on a moment to moment basis. Sometimes, we need to find time to focus on more involved, complex tasks, which is always a time management challenge. I thought these suggestions (some of which I employ myself) were most helpful, so I thought I would share.

While many experts urge busy people to focus on time management to be productive, in today’s world it’s better to focus on distraction management. Distractions are what really consume our days. It takes our brains time to shift back and forth between tasks and to refocus on that task. Each time we are distracted we lose precious time. Plus, according to Carnegie Mellon University research, the distractions drain cognitive skills-yes, make us dumber!

Ergo, minimize distractions, increase productivity! So what are some things to try?

  • Get rid of that email pop-up notification in Outlook.
  • Reduce the number of notifications and alerts you receive on your smartphone.
  • Use the “Do Not Disturb” function on your smartphone during times you need to concentrate.
  • Don’t constantly check email. This is often a learned habit used to avoid doing more difficult work. Check it between tasks, not during one.
  • Unsubscribe from email listservs and newsletters that are no longer useful.
  • Create a daily list of the tasks you must get done that day. Be mindful of your goal of not allowing or creating disruptions during each task.
  • When starting a longer task, close your door even if just for 20-30 minutes to signal you are not to be disturbed.
  • Don’t leave Facebook or other social networks open on your Internet browser to reduce temptations to sneak a peek.
  • With these done, spend a week tracking your distractions and try to find several other ways to lessen your distractions and increase your productivity.

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