Ever wonder why you can't get anything done? Well, Julie Morgenstern, the #1 USA professional organizer, explains what new research revealed:
According to a study published by Cubesmart Inc., we experience on average, one interruption every 8 minutes or approximately 6-7 per hour.
That equals about 50-60 interruptions in an 8 hour day.
Most interruptions take approximately 5-15 minutes. If you receive 50 interruptions daily and each takes 10 minutes, that totals 500 minutes, which is 8 hours per day.
Ouch! No wonder you feel the need to work 12 hours per day... 8 handling interruptions, and 4 getting your work done after hours. Sobering, isn't it? Or, consider this study:
"In a recent study, a group of Microsoft workers took, on average, 15 minutes to return to serious mental tasks, like writing reports or computer code, after responding to incoming e-mail or instant messages. They strayed off to reply to other messages or browse news, sports or entertainment Web sites."
The bottom line is this -
DISTRACTION equals DESTRUCTION
Yes, you can use all sorts of fancy productivity techniques, but as long as people and things keep distracting and interrupting you, you won't accomplish anything.
1. Disable all popups and notifications - on your computer, phone, tablet. Everywhere. Be brutal.
2. Start explaining to your co-workers that when they need something, they should email you. Be polite but firm and persistent. Also tell them that calling you or walking to your desk should be used only in emergencies.
3. Check your email only twice a day. Keep your email closed the rest of the day.
4. Keep your phone on vibrate if possible. And remember: You don't have to pick up the phone just because it rings.
5. Don't "train" others to expect your response immediately in trivial matters. If it takes you 24+ hours to reply to an email, they will learn to obtain the information themselves instead of contacting you all the time, sometimes unnecessarily.
Once you do these 5 things, you will make it possible for yourself to finally get something done!
Then, the next step is to actually schedule some un-interrupted blocks of time without distractions for your work. Once you do that, you will be more productive than ever - and start going home sooner.
Credit: Jiri Novotny at Task List Guru.
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