How do you picture yourself being productive?
Do you see yourself sitting in an office cubicle working away? How about sitting at a home office desk?
The typical vision of people being productive is simply working on a computer in a work oriented environment. After all, it’s a work environment right?
Although it may be true that you are more productive at office and work environments, you can also be unproductive as well. People can stop by your office and say hello, your boss can send you an email and you have to drop everything, your office phone rings and you stop what you’re doing to answer the call. Whatever it is, you can still be at work but not really be doing any work at all.
For some people, their typical day is follows: You go to the office, turn on the computer, check your emails, reply to emails, check your websites and before you know it, you’re on a coffee break. After the coffee break, you may return back to your office, reply to a few more emails and start some work. 1 hour passes and it’s time for lunch.
After 1 hour of lunch, you’re feeling a bit tired from the food you’ve eaten so you start some browsing on the internet, another 30 minutes goes by and you start checking emails and replying to them. You fit in some more work and before you know it, it’s time for another coffee break.
You get back to your office from your coffee break, by now everyone at work is tired so they start chatting to everyone including you, and then it’s around 4pm. You can’t really do any more hard work and can only handle the easy stuff until 5pm.
Then it’s time to go home.
What a day.
In the past, I’ve definitely been a victim of thinking that i’ve been working for 8 hours straight but really, i’ve only been working for 2 hours and the other 6 hours really doesn’t contribute much to my career and life at all.
Being on the internet and checking emails is not working. Browsing the web isn’t working. It’s getting the most important stuff done on a consistent basis that influences your life and career in the biggest ways possible.
- Emails can wait.
- Phone calls can wait.
- Surfing the web can wait.
You can always schedule your time to check emails on certain parts of the day. Remember, if you respond to an email, you’ll get another response, and another, the cycle continues. Most people are in the zone when it comes to working and then all of a sudden, an email popup appears and you’re distracted from your work. It will take you approximately 20 minutes to get back into the zone until another popup appears
It’s the most difficult task of focusing 100% on your most highly valued task that will make the most difference in your life.
Focusing is difficult. Working all the time you work is difficult. It’s not easy. I train myself every day to work all the time I work, sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t. However, after much study of successful individuals, I’ve discovered that they have this ability to stay focused on the work and manage their time well.
They schedule everything and make good use of their time. They are in control of their time and have a warrior skill of being focused.
In the past, I used to be completely distracted so many times, I have facebook, I have twitter, emails, phones, blog statistics, 15 other email accounts, banks etc all trying to get my attention. I used to think that I was working all day but really, I did very little that contributed to my life. At the end of the day, I just replied to emails and did some work that doesn’t really make a huge difference in my life.
Jim Rohn has a quote I would always remember “Some people major in minor things” Don’t major in the minor things. Nothing is worse then doing something extremely well when you didn’t need to do it at all.
That’s why I realized that there’s huge blocks of time that we waste on the little distractions. If you add up all the time you use to keep up to date with distractions, it adds up to several hours, those several hours could be invested into your health, wealth creation, personal development, whatever. Those are the blocks of time you can work with.
I never understood why people would schedule a meeting with someone, wait several weeks, drive to the appointment, meet the person, sit down and chat and then their phone rings all of a sudden and they answer it.
In my opinion, it’s rude to take a normal call from someone who didn’t schedule time with you over someone who did. Of course, emergencies receive higher priorities but normal phone calls can wait.
I remember once I was at a seminar and the speaker was speaking to a large audience. All of a sudden, a high profile executive dropped by to visit the audience to say hello. The speakers and audience dropped everything to say hello to the executive. As he was speaking, he phone started ringing and he answered the call, right in front of the entire audience.
The audience, speakers and myself listened to him have a conversation about organizing a meeting in 2 weeks. When he finished the phone call, he got back to the conversation about how he cares for the people he works with.
I don’t think so.
I once was at another seminar and before it started, I went to the restroom and overheard one of the speakers sitting in the cubicle chatting on his phone about getting ready to go up on stage and speak.
Dan Kennedy once said that if you can not go to the restroom and urinate in peace, then you got problems!
I once wrote an article on the importance of time. Click here to read about it. The post basically covers the importance of time and how everyone has a certain amount of time on this planet.
Sleep and travel will take up most of your time. Other distractions will also take up most of your time. Before you know it, you’re out of time.
Tony Robbins once said that if you dream of becoming a billionaire and think that you can sleep till 11am, you’re in for a rude awakening.
All highly successful people manage their time extremely well and even though they can have long vacations, it’s because they’ve managed their time so well in the past that they can fool around in the present.
Mastering your time is a life long skill that should always be practiced, learnt and mastered for life. Being ruthless with your time will enable you to get the things you want in your life, have more time for the most important things such as family, relationships and you.
Now get back to work