“Work smarter, not harder,” is perhaps the best advice anyone gave anybody, and teaches us the value of our time. Often activity is confused with accomplishment.
Schedule your day
The first place to start becoming more productive is your schedule. Schedule appointments with yourself. Scheduling in personal times, such as breaks or recharging time, will also be necessary, or you may find yourself overwhelmed and unfocussed.
Manage your day
This leads to the importance of time management and prioritizing your agenda. Phone calls, computers, and the internet can all be distractions at the workplace, but it is the messages themselves that often pose the most distraction.
This became painfully apparent to me recently as someone attempted to highjack my day with their emotionally charged messages. Scheduling a time to address messages gives you time to address the situation, business meeting, or project that is at hand. Unfortunately, this can often leave the message source a little unsettled. You may find yourself in your office, tending to your project as scheduled, but a knock on the door interrupts you. “Did you get my message?” they ask.
When you tell people to contact you, give them your scheduled response times as a good time to reach you, rather than just saying, “Give me a call, and we’ll see what we can work out.”
Distract your distractions
The phone and social media are possibly the worst of distractions daily. And, we’ve all been on the receiving end of dealing with a co-worker who constantly has a question about everything. Here, technology has a strong hold on our productive abilities, and can make or break them. We can’t always turn our phones off, because there may be an important call we need to answer (from home possibly).
Be assured – there’s apps for filtering and managing those calls. Google Voice is a personal favorite because you can personalize the interaction of each and every call. A friend can get voicemail, while a crank caller could hear a busy signal.
Often the solution is an easy one. With the distraction of social media, it is best to turn off your alerts and sign off while you’re working.
Know your limitations
Ultimately, practice the right to say “no.” Let them know that you are busy at the moment, but you will get with them when the time is right. “A man’s got to know his limitations,” as it was said best by Clint Eastwood, which is something that is overlooked by those that believe that doing everything is being productive.
It’s also challenging when you are dealing with co-workers who use “bully distraction tactics”. This isn’t outward force – it can sometimes be “drama’ and emotion used to push “their time schedule and agenda.”
They rush around, often overwhelming themselves with smaller, irrelevant tasks – become keen in identifying people who do this. Indeed there are many who spending vast amounts of energy and definitely moving, but they won’t get anywhere – ask yourself , are you one of them?