Where did my day go?

Updated: Jan 27, 2020

You can't watch TV without someone talking about planning. And although people spend a good amount of time on things like retirement and estate planning, they spend less than 8% planning their daily schedule.

I hear it time and time again - "Where did my day go?" Would it surprise you to know that it takes 15 minutes to refocus on your task after an interruption? Let's do the math. 10 interruptions = 2.5 hours.

If you want to test this, keep track of how many interruptions you have in a day. I'm guessing its way more than 10 per day and for some its over 50! That's almost an entire 8 hour work day spent shifting gears.

So the next question is how do I reduce interruptions? The answer - Planning.

It might surprise you to know that 10 minutes of planning saves 90 minutes of work or project time. Now for many people the thought of sitting down to plan is daunting, so start small. Begin with some type of paper planner or better yet use an electronic version - either one will do the job.

Begin by scheduling at least 2-3 hour time blocks at least twice a week. Use that time to hyper-focus on your tasks and write them into the 2 hour time blocks. Estimate how much time you'll need for each task and make sure you don't put too much into any one block of time. Work off your "To Do" list, plugging tasks into those scheduled time slots.

Obviously you can't remodel the house in 2 hours but you can take the time to create a to do list, make phone calls, surf on Houzz for floor samples, etc. You get the idea.

And lastly, make sure its quiet time. No phone calls or quick chats with your neighbor or co-worker at the water cooler. Remember the interruption rule. Close your door or if you're in a cubicle hang a sign - but make it positive.

"I'm busy being super productive at the moment but I'm available from 3 - 4 p.m. if you'd like to talk."

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