Set The Timer- Stop Interruptions
Interruptions are like crab grass or dandelions in the summer. Or dishes in the sink. Or ringing phones, email or people stopping by your desk to chat. Interruptions of one kind or another never seem to stop, well, interrupting your flow of work.
They seem to multiply and replenish no matter how much you think they are all finished. As soon as you pull a dandelion up, there comes more by the walk, then by the fence, then by the gate etc. You just can’t get ahead. Or can you?
Blocks of Time To Concentrate
When you are working on a project, you need blocks of time to really get in the flow of inspiration or consistency.
Interruptions break up the flow of concentration and fragment your attention.
When I worked in management a few years ago, I developed a system of setting a timer to save my sanity. If I did not work in time blocks and have uninterrupted time to concentrate, nothing got done.
I was exhausted and resentful because I had given my power to others who thought their concerns were more important than mine.
Respect Your Time And Others Will Too
Once I took the stand and said “Do Not Disturb” others respected it. The closed door would be honored and anyone can wait a little while to have their questions answered.
Staff learned that I meant it when I sat aside a chunk of time and they either handled the situation themselves (thus assuming their own empowerment) or waited until I was free to focus.
People who want to please others by responding immediately to their interruptions lose sight of their own agenda. Instead, people pleasers allow the needs or desires of others to encroach on their schedules.
Set Timer for 47 Minutes and Focus
I have found that I get more done in chunks of time. As you already know, 47 is a magic number and so I set my timer for 47 minutes. During this chunk of time, I do nothing but work on one project. I don’t answer the phone, check e-mail, Facebook or any other social media.
If my task is writing thank you cards, then I do it for 47 minutes. If I finish early, I keep writing. When the bell rings, I stop.
For the next 13 minutes or three hours or whatever I choose, I stretch, get a drink, go to the bathroom, talk to the dog, stare out the window, pull dandelions or return phone calls. But when I am ready to focus again, I know that it is time to work on that project and only that project.
Setting the timer for 47 minutes and knowing that I just have to concentrate for that long, is actually very freeing to my creative mind and ADD nature. I will be interested to hear how you stop interruptions and set the timer for your next project.
Self Awareness Quiz
- 1. If you knew you only had to focus for 47 minutes on a project, could you do it?
- 2. Could you resist interruptions like answering the phone, checking email or talking to anyone for 47 minutes?
- 3. What could you accomplish if you set the timer and focused for three 47 minute blocks of time daily?
If you enjoyed these ideas and would like to learn more from author and speaker, Judy H. Wright, you will want to check out http://www.judyhwright.com for a free ebook and special reports.