How much time do you actually spend working each day? Many entrepreneurs wear it as a badge of honor that they are burning the midnight oil working 60-80 hours each week. But how much are you actually accomplishing during those hours? One of the negative aspects of human psychology is that we often put off doing key tasks in favor of those that make us seem busy.
Time at the Office
In your morning routine, how much of your time and willpower is wasted before lunch? If you are like most people you will spend at least an hour reading email, checking the news or completing unfinished tasks from the day before that you often don’t start on the day’s tasks till hours after you arrive. Just because you were at the office does not mean that you were productive.
Here are a few of the things that could prevent you from getting started on your work tasks:
- Unfinished Tasks
- Phone (Telemarketers, Texts from Friends, Etc)
- Office Gossip, Conflict or Personal Conversation
Although many of these are not all bad things there is a time and a place to complete these tasks. Which are most vital and will result in the greatest benefits for you and your company?
How big of a problem are distractions? Look how it affects Students in college who are paying to attend school:
The most prevalent form of distraction was texting, reported by 87 percent of students in the 2015 study. At 76 percent email came in second, closely followed by “checking the time” at 75 percent. Social networking was reported by 70 percent of respondents, Web surfing by 42 percent and game-playing by 10 percent.
Why are students wasting their time and money and not producing results? How does this relate to your efforts within your company?
Be Present Always
This is a rule I try to live by which is to always be present. It can be difficult in times of stress to block out thoughts unrelated to your current task but it will make you much more effective. Despite what we believe we are unable to multi-task effectively. Instead of doing several tasks poorly do each task with all your focus and energy.
In our examples of common distractions is Personal Conversation. This may seem negative but when you first arrive at the office you have tasks to complete. Many are urgent and will be on your mind while you are talking with others. These conversations require your full time and attention in order for the other person to feel heard and valued. They may share things that are personal and your inattentiveness may come across as a lack of concern or care for them. Instead, try to do everything at 100%. Set a time and place to have key conversations either wait for breaks or meals where you can focus on developing those key relationships with people you spend so much time around.
Find Your Zone
For me personally, my desk and office is my place to retreat and get work done. Most tasks can be done simply and quickly when we decide to take action. Inaction creates doubts, stress and fear. Instead, take action! Be sure to find a space that you can think and will be less likely to be distracted by tasks unrelated to your vital to-do list. When our concentration is broken it can take almost half an hour to finally refocus on our task and train of thought.
It takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task.
Remove distractions and start to create your productive zone. Many of us mistakenly believe we are night owls. In reality, we are just less likely to be distracted since others are asleep. When we see our productivity we may wrongly assume that we are more effective in the night hours. Instead get your sleep, get up early and have an incredible morning.
The Bottom Line
Being more effective with your time means you can create more value for yourself and your business. Practice removing distractions and having more productive hours during the day. You will be impressed at how small changes can lead to massive results. Focus your efforts on learning and building your core and inherent skills rather than rounding out weaknesses. Instead, hire people who match your weaknesses with their strengths. To learn more about marketing and strategies to grow your business check out: Marketing Section