Get Stuff Done Challenge: Day 3 Distractions & Time Chunking
Hey there, over half done! How do you feel? This is all about small wins compounded over time, so if you do the “work”, you will see results! Rinse and repeat. Make the list, make it doable and star the top 2-3 priorities. Priorities push you to do something you NEED versus something you WANT. Success in a crazy day is definitely getting 3 small tasks done that MUST be done and/or also move you toward a bigger goal.
When you evaluate the previous days, can you identify where you get derailed? What distractions under your controlled can be minimized or better managed? Take a moment to think about & perhaps write down those distractions.
Need examples? Digital clutter, i.e. having 20 computer tabs open. Paperwork piles. The internet. Social media. I’m not saying you won’t have these things. I’m asking you to consider their usefulness in your life. If you want to jump on Facebook to connect, check into a group or get your news, that is completely fine! But if you find that you spend 15 minutes six times per day, maybe it's preventing progress on things that are really important to you! Maybe you can put on your list that you will jump on 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. It’s completely up to you and your distractions.
When I’m working on content creation, I literally have to turn the internet off so I’m not getting notifications constantly to react to others. If you combine housework or trying to be creative with responding to emails, how effective can you be? While multi-tasking is GREAT when it makes sense---like listening to an audio book on a drive, on a walk or while doing the dishes, it can also be a major distraction when more thought is required for both tasks. Agree or disagree? Reply & let me know!
Time chunking is grouping like things together in task categories or different times of the day.
Eliminate the time wasted from switching tasks. You know if you make a separate trip out of the house to mail a letter and to get groceries, you could have saved time by combining those tasks + making a couple phone calls & running other errands all at once. The same goes for replying to emails and messages. If you’re in the middle of a time chunk of productivity and you get interrupted with message notifications and emails, how much time does that REALLY consume over the course of the day? How would you know without being very aware? Maybe certain tasks can be scheduled only on certain days? It's trial and error but I bet there are places we are already chunking time and others where we could use it more often.
When you make your daily to do list, either morning or evening (by the way, reply and let me know which one works better for you!), do you automatically think to yourself, “When will I get this done?” Because if you don’t consider where a task item might be able to fit into your day, did you really make the time for it? What does that say about how you rate its importance?
If items didn’t get done, ask:
- Can it be moved?
- Was it not important?
- Is it ok if it didn’t get done?
- Was it not specific enough?
If you can cross off more small items from your list, the feel good psychology of accomplishment kicks in. Heck yes! Small wins whittle at big goals!
Also consider this: sometimes things take twice as long as planned. This is the information we find out from evaluating our days. This week, I’m finally crossing off items from two days ago. And that’s okay---at least those tasks weren’t rolling around in my mind keeping me up at night!
The point? It’s okay to schedule some dead time….a little white space to be creative and settle your thoughts.
Time chunking can be as simple as taking your morning hours to spend with kids or working on a specific project and the afternoon to reply to emails, finish housework, schedule meetings and do some planning. You don’t have to strictly schedule yourself, but knowing that you’d like to assign your priority to do items to a certain chunk of the day helps ensure it has a place on the calendar and is more likely to get done.
Don’t forget to reward yourself a little when you’ve accomplished a tedious task---maybe a walk around the office, a call to a friend, a social media break. You worked hard & earned it! See you tomorrow!
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