I’m sitting on my couch attempting to crank out my Thursday morning blog. I look down and notice that I have 6 new emails in queue. I should probably turn that alert off. I of course have to find out who they are from, and if I need to respond.
Once I complete that task, I see an alert on my wordpress page. I have activity. Well I have to stop what I’m doing and click on the bell. I like it when there’s activity on my page. That means I caught someone’s attention and hopefully offered useful information.
I should probably check my Facebook page while I’m at it. I may have messages or a post that needs a response.
It’s 8:00am. I’ve managed to blow an hour with nothing to show for it. Why is it we feel we have to stop whatever we are doing and respond immediately, when we receive an email, tweet, request, or post from all of the other different sites we are affiliated with?
The majority of those posts aren’t even important, they are just mindless banter. Every email and post I looked at this morning could have waited.
Collectively, we send over 200 million emails per minute. Can you believe that? Just because someone contacts you, doesn’t mean you have to stop what you are doing and reciprocate. You have to prioritize.
Computers and phones that keep you informed of every little contact that takes place in your world is great. I love the idea of being easily accessible, if I’m needed. But these tools are not always helpful. They are also a highway for constant interruptions.
Not only do they steal your time, but they impede your creativity by interrupting the flow of ideas. You get a great idea and then the phone rings or dings if it’s a text, or if you’re like me, your phone is set up for alerts. I get them throughout the day. My phone doesn’t make a sound, but the screen lights up and my eyes and attention are called away. That one minute is all it takes to lose that idea and totally disrupt the flow.
So what’s the solution? It’s simple really.
Block off a designated amount of uninterrupted time.
Put the phone away. Turn off the alerts and focus on what you have to accomplish for the day.
Implement a daily communication schedule.
- in the morning
- before lunch
- after lunch
- at the end of the day
I do try to follow this advice, but today is not starting out as planned. I guess we all have those days 🙂