I reached the office at 9 a.m., pumped with my to-do list and ready to get down to work. Before I could make the strategy charts that would have really made a difference to the business, I was interrupted by email.
Emails to be precise – 56 of them. As I was clearing them, a teammate walked up asking for advice on a new design he was working on.
Then, the boss called and asked for an urgent meeting to discuss the poor results from last month. Finally, I felt like I needed a break and went down for tea.
By then, it was already 11.30 a.m.
Office workers get interrupted every three minutes. That’s the norm. No matter what you do, other people, emails, tea breaks and random things will interrupt your day and steal your productive time.
Every time you get interrupted, it takes you an extra 20 to 30 minutes before you can get back to the original task.
However, there is one pocket of time when we are super productive: when no one is around us, especially on a flight.
We can get emails done, make presentations, eat the airline meal, catch a wink and maybe even a movie if the flight is long enough.
The secret? No unwanted interruptions.
So, what if, we can access the same kind of productivity every single day?
Image | pexels
Go flight mode
My secret is to go on flight mode for one to two hours every day – the same duration as an average flight. Treat it as the time you are dedicating to getting your most important work done without any interruptions.
Here are the simple steps you can follow to achieve this successfully.
- Block it in your calendar in advance every week, when the week begins. Put in flight mode and tell your boss you are doing this to get critical work done.
- Turn your phone to flight mode when the time comes.
- Turn your emails off. Keep the Internet if you feel the need for it. If you are a Facebook junkie, then turn the Internet off too.
- Go to a cafe or another floor in the office where no one knows you.
- Get to work.
These might sound silly but try it for a day. See how much you can get done in one to two hours of being uninterrupted by anyone or anything else.
In a world where we are constantly interrupted, we all need to find our flight modes. Otherwise, the days and months pass by in a blur and we are often left wondering if we are truly in control of our agendas and productivity.
Go flight mode and watch your productivity soar.
Aseem is a digital coach and a faculty trainer with Leaderonomics. He has many years of experience creating disruptive online and offline campaigns around the world. To engage him for digital transformation of your organisation, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.