You can deal better with distraction by
Every minute of every day presents opportunity for distraction
When looking to reduce or resist distractions it is best to start with yourself and your attitude.
Consider this simple story and the impact it can have on your daily routine.
What is the $64,000 question?
The term ‘Sixty four thousand dollar question’, whilst attributable to a popular game show, actually comes from the memoirs of Andrew Carnegie, one of the most successful entrepreneurs and businessmen of the early part of the twentieth century in America.
He is reported to have employed a consultant to answer the question, ‘how can I become more successful?’ The consultant took on the assignment, charging Carnegie a reported $64,000 for the answer. This was a huge amount of money at the time and is not an inconsiderable sum now. After two weeks of following Carnegie around, sitting in meetings, travelling with him, watching him work, seeing how he made decisions and so on.
What is the $64,000 answer?
the consultant came back into see Andrew Carnegie and said: "I now have the answer to the question how you can be more successful".
"Only do the most important things”
Carnegie sat for a moment expecting the consultant to continue, but the consultant simply repeated the expression – ONLY DO THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS – that is the key to how you can become more successful. Andrew thought and later said in his memoirs that was the best piece of advice that he ever paid for and was worth many times more than what he actually paid.
When you go about your daily work activity and routine, the one question you need to keep asking yourself is –
Am I working on the most important things right now?
If you can answer that question and say Yes, then the results and the productivity gains and benefits will come to you. If the answer is No or Not Really, then stop what you are doing and move onto something that is the more important activity for you at that time.
If, during your work day, you constantly move from one task to another as a butterfly flits from one flower to another, then this is counter-productive. Each time you stop and start a task it takes a little bit of time. Work through activities by batching them together, for example, for all your phone calls, all your letter writing, all the filing, meetings, etc, and then moving on until finished.
In many ways, time is our most valuable and scarcest resource. We start each day with 86,400 seconds. Spend them wisely. They are not replaced and cannot stored.
Nobody really wants to be distracted, waste time or get less done.
Instead, we sometimes allow people to 'steal' our time with really noticing or being able to prevent. Indeed, sometimes we 'steal' or own time!
Take time to reflect on the ten time wasters listed below, ranking each in order of priority, or problems, in the space provided. Add any others that affect you.
1. Face-to-face interruptions
2. Lack of planning, goals and objectives
3. Fire-fighting, crisis management
4. Attempting too much
5. Constantly shifting objectives
6. Telephone interruptions and email alert
7. Paperwork and personal disorganisation
8. Inability to say ‘no’
10. Lack of self-discipline
It is likely that two or three bandits on the list are more of a challenge than others. Start on reducing or dealing with these first.
Focus on making small, easy and daily changes to your routine.
Interruptions face-to-face – drop-in visitors
Procrastination - DO IT NOW.