As I sat down to write this note several things were going through my mind. Just as I teach my productivity coaching clients, I had to focus and figure out what I was going to write about, and that meant thinking about the past week. The most notable thing was the wacky weather.
On Wednesday, it was 60 degrees, I changed my plans so that I could go for a walk outside, and even barbecued our dinner. On Thursday, we got 6 inches of snow, I stopped what I was doing to help shovel (check out the picture). On Friday, Sammi came for dinner. We weren’t expecting her. She got here at about 3 in the afternoon with Dani. I shifted my schedule around so that we could go to the dog park. Saturday went as planned. Sunday brought an ice storm, I stayed home instead of doing the errands I had planned for the day.
I thought to myself, I can’t write about the weather, that’s too boring. Then I got a text message from my daughter about her car which needs repair. I realized that the whole week was one big distraction. Nothing went as planned. Things usually don’t, do they? You can be busily at work on something and then “poof”. Distraction. It could be an email, a phone call, it can be the weather, or an idea that crosses your mind.
The Challenge of Staying Focused
The thing about these distractions and interruptions is that, either the work you were doing before the interruption takes longer to complete, or worse, you may never get back to what you were doing.
“The average person spends just eleven minutes working on a single project before they are interrupted, and after being interrupted, it takes that same person 25 minutes to get back to what they were doing. *
Avoid disruptions and interruptions.”
I know you can’t control things like the weather, but what distractions can you eliminate from your surroundings? What frequently interrupts you? What can you do to prevent these interruptions? Share your thoughts with me below.
*Source: Gloria Mark, Professor in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine.