Previously we looked at the value of time in Part I of time management and then we looked at setting priorities in Part II of time management series. Today we will look at Part three of this series which is managing distractions. It is a fair statement to say that life is full of distractions. Imagine driving from home to work and try to remember the distractions that you have to deal with.. a fancy looking car, a good looking human being, a car wreck that just happened, or even a train of thought that make you zone out of your focus.
Because distractions are part of our life, managing distractions is another necessary skill to be successful in time management.
A day only has so many hours in it, a handful of even the smallest interruptions can rob you of the time you need to achieve your goals and be successful in your work-life and personal life. We drew this conclusion in part I of these series where we looked at the annual cost of an hour spread out in different demographics. Beyond this, distractions can break your focus, meaning that you have to spend time re-engaging with the thought processes needed to continue with the task from the point of interruption and successfully complete that task.
The key to effectively managing distractions well begin by knowing what they are and whether they are necessary, and to plan for them in your daily priority list.
Tips to effectively manage interruptions
These tips that will help you stop distractions from frustrating you and get a grip on your daily schedule.
Begin your day early
The early bird catches the worm.. is a very old saying but yet still true. In most cases, this is the best time to have uninterrupted time ,whether you have a house full of kids or taking care of older ones, the early morning is the best time to escape the distractions of daily life, and have some private moment.
Begin your day with the end in mind
This simply mean that you have an idea of what you want to have accomplished when the sunset. Knowing this helps to narrow the focus so your attention and energy is not on anything but on something.
Write your priority list
This is an extension of the above point. Once you know what you which to accomplish write it down on a Things to do pad. I have found this technique to be very effective. When I put things down and mark them as I go i have discovered that more often than not I have more time at the end of the tasks – versus more tasks at the end of the time.
Learn To Say NO
Saying NO is a skill that most successful individuals have mastered both in their personal life and professional field. Learn to graciously say no to unnecessary phone calls, unnecessary requests and when you accept them be careful where you put them in your priority quadrant, discussed in our part two series.
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