It’s like working with the TV on in our heads!
It’s time to limit procrastination and filter the white noise.
Lockdown is a regular period of self imposed isolation. Block out two hours in your calendar, shut the door and put that phone on DND (do not disturb!). Make sure staff are aware that they shouldn’t interrupt you unless it really is urgent. You’ll plough through work quickly with a higher standard. And when time is up or the job done, reply to your emails, return necessary calls and revel in your achievement. Lockdown works best with regular intervals!
Multitasking is a myth.
Humans are like computers: when we open two programs, things run slower.
Next time you jump tasks or decide to work on another project ‘simultaneously’ ask yourself if it’s because it will produce effective results or because you’re bored or you’ve finished the easy part? We all need diversity but flicking between many tasks is messy and unproductive.
Boycott your email.
Take your automatic email pop up off so you’re not distracted every time you receive an email. Realistically if the emailer doesn’t follow up with a call immediately then it can wait a couple of hours.
Go to your Outlook Tools and select Options - Email options (on the preferences tabs) - Advanced email options, and untick the ‘Display a New Mail Desktop
Alert’… (you can also make rules so emails from specific contacts still pop up). Are your ‘rubbish’ emails reaching system critical? If each morning you’re sifting through the online store newsletters to find your emails then it’s time for an ‘unsubscribe-athon’! Click that unsubscribe button at the end of the newsletter and follow the prompts to complete the process.
Seek support in your quest to be efficient.
Make sure your colleagues use email effectively. Email communications should be short, to the point and easy to digest. Emails should be used only when a conversation is not possible or necessary.