It doesn’t matter who you are or what profession you are in, we are all subject to a constant flow of potential distractions during our work day. Some may be short detours, and some may blind side us causing us to ask, “Where did this day go!” The problem is we all have a finite amount of time each day to accomplish what really matters. If you’re a small business owner then your time is precious and the little distractions in your day can end up having a huge impact on your income and your chances for long-term success. Take a moment to evaluate your work habits to see if you fall prey to the time killers that plague our daily productivity.
The top distractions for most people tend to be phone calls, texts, emails, meetings, and the time-sucking black hole we call the internet. So how do we avoid these distractions and ensure our greatest productivity? Start with self-discipline, use schedules and agendas, and set personal goals.
This is difficult for most of us. We shy away from tasks we don’t enjoy doing. Try to complete these tasks early in the day. Checking off a task, especially one we don’t enjoy doing, will put us in a better mood for the rest of the day. Stay away from social media. Prioritize the most important tasks each day completing them first, leaving the optional items for later. Make notes during the day of new items that will need to be added to your schedule for later.
Schedules and Agendas
Prepare a personal work schedule each week. This will improve your focus and help you concentrate on what you need to accomplish to achieve the greatest success from your efforts. Review your schedule daily to see if changes should be made.
Meeting for meeting’s sake is not productive. All meetings should have an agenda. Let people know what topics will be covered in the meeting, how long the meeting is expected to last, and what you expect of them during the meeting so they come prepared.
Set Personal Goals
What would you like to see happen in the next month? 6 months? 12 months? What will you have to do to make these goals become a reality? Setting short term and long term goals will help you to stay on task. Celebrate the victories and evaluate and learn from the defeats. If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?
Finally, at the end of the day, ask yourself what you did well and what could you have done better or differently to have a better outcome.
We all struggle with having a finite amount of time to work with, so working hard at reducing our distractions will yield in better productivity, a better quality of work life and increase your chances for long-term success!