Some activities seem innocent enough, maybe even productive or beneficial. If left unchecked, however, they may sneak up on you and usurp precious time and energy. If your workday is feeling scattered and unproductive, one of these shifty saboteurs could be the culprit.
Bedtime bummer. Light from your mobile devices can inhibit production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making you perk up rather than settle in for the night. Avoid electronic devices close to bedtime, especially for things like checking email, texting or gaming, so your brain knows it’s time for bed.
An alarming fact. Hitting the snooze button fragments your sleep patterns and can actually make you more tired for the remainder of the day. If you have trouble waking up, place your alarm out of reach, so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. In a few days, you’ll notice a difference.
Interruption junction. One study of workplace interruptions showed it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on track with a task that was interrupted by calls, emails or people popping in. For focused work, consider turning off your ringer and pop-up notifications. Hang a sign on your door that says you need 30 minutes of uninterrupted time (or whatever that timeframe may be to accomplish a task).
And about those emails. Of course, we need to stay on top of messages. The trick is to do it at specific times. Schedule windows of time to review and respond to messages. Then, set those expectations with clients and co-workers. This will help you focus. You can always check messages at additional times if you are not working on a time-sensitive task.
Inbox clutter bugs. Retailer, newsletter and tip-of-the-day emails take up time you could spend elsewhere. Use a separate email address for these accounts that you can check at your convenience. And if you use Gmail, for instance, start using categories and tabs to pre-filter your incoming messages.
Multitasking mayhem. Few people are capable of effectively multitasking. The rest of us are multitasking ourselves out of productivity. The next time you find yourself attempting multiple tasks at once, take a few moments and determine what you need to accomplish in priority order. Focus on the most important item immediately and schedule time in your calendar to handle the other items.
Invitation overload. If a meeting is important to your work, it deserves your attention. If not, why are you there? Ask for a detailed agenda before accepting a meeting invite.
Following these tips can help you keep focused on what you’re doing to achieve continued success.
Sources: Entrepreneur, Business Insider