In our time management, or self management efforts, the number one time drain on our day is our inability to focus on important, income producing activities due to distractions.
These distractions are not going away, so we must learn to manage them. But I honestly believe that we don’t even realize just how fragmented our days become because of the little distractions that come our way. One of the biggest time wasters is getting back to the work that we just mentally exited 5 minutes ago because of a text, tweet, email, or phone call.
So, the first step to managing those distractions is to simply gain a conscious awareness of distractions. It is vitally important to realize how much time we waste, and money we lose attending to distractions throughout the day.
Being a high level entrepreneur is a game. We need to set the rules and establish the boundaries in that game so that we stack the deck in our favor. With that in mind here is an example of a high level entrepreneur who has done just that.
EXAMPLE OF SETTING YOUR GAME RULES FOR A “DISTRACTION FREE” WORK DAY:
1) Wake up in the morning:
– Begin with a large shake, or well-rounded healthy breakfast.
– Sit down and review/plan the day. Begin the day with a focused mindset.
– Spend the first couple of hours of the day with the phone, emails, and social media OFF. Spend those hours writing ads, marketing, completing income-producing activities – distraction free. This time of the day is the time when energy is best, and focus is most clear.
2) Head to the gym and get a work out in for the day. This is also done with all distractions turned OFF.
3) Get back in the office and spend the next 30 – 60 minutes handling “distraction time.” This is when phone calls, and emails are returned, social media is input, etc.
If we are committed to our goals, we will be committed to some “distraction free” blocks of time everyday. We must be proactively managing ourselves in time to create good habits and productive behaviors that support our values and goals. If we don’t set up these kinds of rules for our lives, we will never become the high level producers that we want to be.
Another way to increase our productivity is by learning new skill sets. That will never happen unless we schedule the time into our schedules. Remember this: No new skills equals no new money.
When you are planning your day, ask yourself, “Is this a high yield, high profit use of my time?” If the answer is yes, then block it into your schedule as “distraction free” time.
If you simply have no clue where your day goes then try this one tactic. Keep track of every minute of your working day. Journal it. Track it. Then review it with an open mind. This will serve as information that will change the way you see distractions. You will also become extremely motivated to change the way you handle those daily distractions.
Try that for a week. Then send me some comments about how much time you found that you were wasting. I promise you if you will block out distraction free time for high yield activities, you will see a dramatic increase in production.
This was Part 3 of a 5 part series, “Effective Self-Management.” Part 1 – The Time Management Myth, discusses changing our perspective on how we manage ourselves in the time that we are given. In Part 2, “Managing Overwhelm” discover strategies to manage information overload. Stay tuned for Part 4 – “Save Your WORK Environment!”