This article first appeared a few years ago on Writing IT Better, with Rob Wilcox, but is still pertinent. Image by Laurence Walsh.
Yes, you’ve guessed it, we’re talking ‘time management’. Yawn.
Sitting in my office trying to write this, my children are talking to me before school (I should be pleased) and the dog is barking. Transient interruptions.
However, I am also receiving emails by the bucketload, Facebook messages, tweets and my WhatsApp is trying to engage me in a deep and meaningful conversation. My replies grow terser by the minute.
What to do? Because you can rest assured that I cannot write with all these interruptions.
Somehow, I need to have breakfast, make a drink (basic comfort essentials for work) and crack on with it as time is short today….so, how do I switch people off so I can switch the creative juice on?
Why do I (and millions of others) not have the self-discipline to ignore the instant demands of the computer, phone, tablet, apps and other electronic wizardry which we keep in our faces 24/7?
Over to IT Rob to solve my problem:
I too suffer endless interruptions in my day-to-work. I have at least 4 different hats on, every day.
Time is always short. And as Dawn says, replies get shorter/terser and stress levels go shooting upwards.
There are lots of different ways of getting rid of the distractions such as:
– Turn off the internet – Really. Turn. It. Off.
– Close the door.
– Focus, and by that I mean stop trying to multitask, and either do one complete task, or slice up time and stick to it (like you would a meeting, or appointment slot).
There are tons more. Each will work for some people, and not others. Some might work for a time, until your brain manages to work out a way of breaking your rules!
What I’ve been trying recently though does (for now) seems like a killer way.
That’s right. Just simply walk away. You are not doing your best for anyone if you have 10 different things spinning around in your head, and you’re also hurting yourself in the process.
Just walk away. Look at nature, and the beauty that is all around. Whether you live in a city, a town, or are lucky enough to live by the ocean with waves and rolling hills there is always somewhere you can go to just slow down, gather your thoughts, take some deep breaths, and start again.