I’m going to assume that losing the use of your mobile phone would be most people’s worst nightmare. Probably for some more than others, depending on how attached you are to it or how much you rely on it.
I liked to think that I wasn’t one of those people who was completely hypnotised by this little device, but alas after my mobile phone went on the blink I have had to come to terms with the fact that after only one day of not being able to use it, I am showing signs of withdrawal. The biggest issue for me, is not knowing. Losing the ability to receive information and be updated immediately.
So whilst developing nervous twitches in my eye and hand, I started thinking about all of the other “things” that distract us during our day. Things that shift our focus from what is important and prevent us from completing and achieving our goals.
I hear people complaining about not having enough time in their day or their week to get to important jobs and tasks. I wonder how much of their day is filled with unnecessary distraction, which very quietly steals precious time away from them?
So here is an experiment to work out your ratio. Productive working hours vs. wasted work hours:
1) At the end of your work week document 5 key tasks/jobs that you would like to complete every day for the upcoming week. Or select a goal, which needs to be completed in a week and then break the goal into smaller, manageable goals, which are then distributed into the week.
2) Plot these tasks into your weekly planner for the upcoming week. By completing this it gives you a head start and you don’t feel as though you are starting the week on the back foot.
3) When the week begins you will now have each day planned out for you. After each day, spend 5-10mins documenting your day.
- Did you achieve your 5 tasks/jobs for the day?
- If you didn’t, why not? What stopped you from achieving the tasks?
- If you did achieve all 5, well done. Why did you achieve everything on your list?
- Complete this after-action review everyday and see what the end result looks like.
- Where and why did you win and where and why were you challenged?
- What distracts you? Were the distractions people, your motivational levels or your environment?
4) If you had to eliminate or manage those distractions, what would your week look like? How productive could you be?
The other thing which also needs to be raised, is do we necessarily need to know what is going on in the world all the time? How debilitating can the distraction of information overload be on your business and personal life?
My new goal, don’t allow unnecessary distractions from taking over my precious time. How about you?
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