May 23, 2012

Rachel Strella

Managing Distractions

by Rachel

For many, electronic communication has gone from being an occasional diversion to being a constant distraction. (Or, in my case, even an occupational hazard)!

Despite the ways we often search for work/life balance, it seems our obsession with being connected can dominate our lives.

As the queen of succumbing to online distractions, I thought I would share these tips for helping others manage those pesky ‘pings.’

Prioritize. As deadlines approach and you’re facing crunch time, prioritize your tasks. Write a list of what absolutely must be done today and start cranking away.

Silence Social Sites. Once you’ve established a priority list, turn off the email and social network notifications.  Side tip: For those of you who think, I can’t power off because I might ‘miss’ something important, treat the silence as if you were in meeting (that’s assuming you give undivided attention to the folks you’re meeting with).

Check-In Less Frequently.   If you’re like me, you want to check-in 50 times a day because you’re afraid that the communications are piling up. But, I find they are actually easier to manage if I check-in less frequently.  Side tip: If you struggle with this, start slowly by checking in 45 times a day, instead of 50.

Reward Yourself. Accomplishing what’s on your list will likely be reward enough, but to help stick with it, treat yourself to a reward for sticking to your time management goals for the week!

Filter. Take the time to filter emails to designated folders, set the frequency and type of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest messages, and select only your most preferred blog and ezine subscription options.   This will help minimize distractions that can keep you from the task at hand once you sign on!

What distractions to do you encounter? Have you found a way to manage them?

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