Productivity Tip: Guard Yourself from Time Thieves
Does it seem that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to get as much accomplished each day as you would like? You may have all the good intentions in the world, but you can’t be at your most productive best if you are constantly being distracted and derailed by others who want to impose on your time.
No doubt, you deal with time thieves on a daily basis. You know, the ones who ask if you “have a minute” or drop by your workspace without warning to have a chat. Even just a few brief interruptions can add up over the course of a day or week, and can really hurt your productivity.
So what can you do? This article shares some tips. First, you need to set some boundaries and be firm about enforcing them. Announce that you are going “off the radar” when you need to have a period of uninterrupted work time. To help people get the message, don’t respond to IMs or email during this time.
Keeping your headset on while you work can help discourage people who want to stop and chat when they pass your cubicle. If that doesn’t work, you may need to take drastic measures to retreat to a conference room for some quiet time to work on important tasks.
You also need to be firm about learning to say no. You simply cannot agree to every request that is made of your time, so you have to learn how to determine which requests must be accepted—and how to gracefully decline the others.
How do you keep people from stealing your time and hurting your productivity? Share in the comments.
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