Get Things Done – how to deal with distractions

This is the second article in the Get Things Done series. The last article looked at how to focus on what’s important. Below are some tips on how to deal with distractions.

If you did the Activity Time Sheet you will have noticed how much time in your week is “wasted” by interruptions, doing things at the wrong time, waiting, Facebook, Twitter and surfing the net (if you were honest!), meetings, etc, etc. There are so many distractions which can come our way, so here are some thoughts on how you can deal with these and improve your productivity:-

  1. Be in control of your time – I am sure you often feel that you have no control of your time. Especially when you are in an office or factory environment, with the demands of customers, colleagues and team members. However, it is important to assert as much control as you can on your time. If you manage a team, instead of having a constant open-door policy, have some time in each day when they can only interrupt you if it is an emergency. This gives you time to concentrate on your work for at least part of every day.
  2. What is your best time? - in every role there are different types of tasks which need doing – creative, administrative, talking to people, research etc. What is your best time for doing each one? When are you most creative or in the best frame of mind for detail? It could be that you “think” best in the morning in which case make sure you allocate time, with no interruptions, in the morning to do your thinking and planning work, and have your team meetings and customer calls in the afternoon.
  3. 90 minute focus – make sure you have at least 90 minutes each day of total focus on whatever your main priority is for the day. Turn-off your phone, e-mail, shut the door, go somewhere quiet and give this task total focus. Chose the best time of day for this type of task see point 2.
  4. Setting up your environment – in order to be productive you need to make sure that you have everything you need for each task. This sounds simple, but how often do are you frustrated by not having the correct information or equipment, and have to waste time finding it? Be prepared, get everything you need together before you start.
  5. Completing tasks – once you have finished your allocated time for a particular task it is important to finish it off properly. Is the task fully complete? If not, have you left it so it is easy to pick up again? This one step avoids so much wasted time when you come to work on that task again.

Behind all of these steps are plenty of tools and techniques to make them easier. The Productive Manager Programme provides all the resources and training, managers need to get things done.

For further details of The Productive Manager Programme call Charlie Damonsing on 0771 559 6487.

This post was written by Charlie Damonsing of CLAssociates. CLAssociates specialises in helping businesses manage stress in the workplace, providing consultancy, training and 1-2-1 support. For further details please contact Charlie on 0771 559 6487.