What could you do with two to two-and-a-half hours each day?
Probably, a lot. That’s how much time the average person loses to interruptions and distractions. If you get distracted easily, things like unplanned telephone calls, responding to the ding of emails, answering text messages, drop-by-visitors, hallway interactions, emergencies and crises can quickly derail your entire plan for the day.
You could save a couple of hours each day if you made a conscious decision to reduce distractions and interruptions. Backed by a firm commitment, you can minimize interruptions and distractions by turning off your phone at a given time each day, just for an hour or two. Set a time to return calls, and respond to emails and text messages. You can even make the time you plan to return calls known, or on your voice message, ask callers to indicate the best times to reach them.
If you need a stretch of unbroken concentration, move your work location to a conference room or a colleague’s office. Better yet, if you can, work from home. You’ll impress yourself with what you can get done when you focus on the task at hand, undistracted.
For those spontaneous encounters, as quickly as you can, end chatty, time-wasting conversations with, “Nice to see you/hear from you. I have to get back to work. Take care.”
Assess your time management habits and identify ways you can manage your time more effectively. One to two changes could make a big difference and put you back in control of your calendar and your life.