Focus, concentration and immersion are a few of the wishes of leaders and employees. But how do you save time and realise these in a busy daily life?
Interruptions and distractions are manifold: E-mails, phones, colleagues (who have a “two-minute-question”) and procrastination to mention a few things that are threatening our focus. Please do not get me wrong, of course we need to be available when we are at work, and a part of the job for many of us is to answer phones, e-mails and personal applications.
Changing focus costs time
In the meantime, the challenge is that we use time to change focus each time we are interrupted, and that is why some tasks take an infinite amount of time to finish. Therefore, I encourage you to discover possibilities that gives you opportunities to save time during the day.
What do you need to do?
Have pen and paper ready besides the keyboard to write down every single interruption during the day. Write also how long time they each take. After a few days of tracking, you will have a clear indication of:
- How many times you were interrupted
- How much time you use on interruptions during a working day; more studies indicate that we are interrupted once each seven minutes. What about you?
Look critically at each interruption:
- Do you see a pattern?
- Do you have many interruptions of the same type?
- Are all of them part of the job?
- If not, could you avoid some of them?
- Maybe you are the type, who has difficulties saying no or likes to help others. There needs to be room for helpfulness, but remember: Tasks seek for solutions! Maybe too many task are coming your way?
- Are you yourself the reason for some of the interruptions? Do you procrastinate, or do you have a tendency to switch between tasks?
By taking a closer look at the interruptions, most of us find we can adjust something and save time. It is not only the interruptions itself that takes our time, but also the time we use to come back to what we were doing.