Feel like you are always behind schedule?
Chasing deadlines that constantly seem too close can be pretty frustrating, as is needing to put in extra hours to finish projects in time. And very often this doesn’t depend on you – you would be perfectly on track if only people stopped interrupting you. Emails, phone calls, notifications, people entering your work space – everything seems to conspire against you and your productivity.
It’s not really up to you. Or maybe it is?
RescueTime completed a study in which they observed the activity of 50,000+ users. They discovered that the average worker checks their emails or messages every 6 minutes. Only 18.6% of the users were able to go more than 20 minutes without being pulled into communication.
This study makes it evident that your workday can be filled with constant distractions. Maybe you have tried to reduce the number of notifications from social media and emails. This is a great first step, but is it enough?
And also, how can you really not check your inbox if you know someone may need you? That text message could be very important, are you allowed to ignore it?
All of us have been trained to apply a Reactive Modus Operandi (M.O.) to our life and to the requests of others. We react to the sound of our phone as if someone was calling for help, screaming our name. When it is silent, the impulse to have a glance just in case someone has tried to reach you is hard to resist.
Although very common, working like this undermines your momentum. There are times in which you drop everything you are doing to deal with what your phone is demanding, while other times you keep working on your task but in the back of your mind you hear that voice saying ‘What if you end up forgetting about that request? Deal with it now’.
It is time to move to a Proactive M.O. Having a Proactive M.O. means deciding when to take care of what, in a proactive way which allows you once again to take charge of your time. There are some measures you will need to take to make sure you don’t feel guilty and you don’t miss out on anything important. After this, you will be free to finally say ‘No’ without feeling you are not being cooperative.
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PS Here you can find the article where you can read about the study!