You don’t really need to be interrupted every time someone calls you. You worry about not picking up the phone because you are afraid you will miss something. If what you are doing is really important, it is better that you give it your full, undivided attention. If you can’t miss a call, set up a voice mail message indicating who your caller should contact in your absence, or tell them to call back immediately if what they need is urgent.
You don’t need to know that you have received a text message the minute you receive it. Many of the text messages you receive don’t rise to level of requiring your immediate attention. By responding in real-time, you are giving everyone you know permission to interrupt you at any time. This means everything and everyone is more important than what you were doing.
You are allowed to close your email. You can close it for hours at a time. No lives will be lost. Nowhere on your job description is their even a hint that you primary duties require that you respond to email in real-time. Email isn’t your job; it’s a tool. Two hours from now, all of the emails that have come into your inbox will be there for you.
Can you imagine being surrounded by people, each of them tapping you on the shoulder to gain your attention one after another? How productive can you be when you are interrupted every few minutes? How can you do quality work when you won’t give yourself permission to turn off all distractions long enough to give yourself over to your work?
There is some work you do where it will be okay to allow yourself to be distracted. To do the best work your capable of, you must eliminate distractions.
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Filed under: Productivity