With so many balls in the air, it can be easy to drop them all when the unexpected nudges it’s way into your line of vision. It’s in the entrepreneur’s nature to multitask and wear several different hats at once. But when does too much multitasking hurt the quality of your work and your productivity? What happens when an email totally derails your day? How can you manage to stay on task?
DND is your friend. I know we all think that it’s laughable to turn off our phones, but we lived without them for thousands of years before the 90s made them ubiquitous and the noughties made them essential. But Do Not Disturb isn’t permanent. It’s okay to unplug long enough to get things done. And remember, you can still allow emergency contacts to reach you on this setting, so if you need your family to have access, no worries!
Turn off notifications! Yes, social media is a necessity for business owners, there’s no denying that. But when push comes to shove, and you need to keep your eye on the prize. Turn off those notifications. On your phone, on your desktop, your tablet- turn them all OFF. Take advantage of those automatic responses and trust that any comments or messages will be there when you return. As long as you respond within 24 hours, you’re all good!
Don’t be a slave to email. Set designated times to check your email and stick to them. That doesn’t mean that you can’t utilize email between those times, it just means that you’re not responding to incoming emails outside of designated times. It’s so easy to say, “this will only take a minute”, but when you have an entrepreneurial level of emails in your inbox “this will only take a minute” can easily turn into hundreds of minutes.
Don’t make a call when an email will do. In a world of increasingly digital communication, phone calls are now considered old school, you could even say a lost art. Phone calls are a powerful thing and should be used accordingly. If you notice you’re opening your outgoing phone calls with “quick question”, really think on whether this needed to be a phone call. Remember, you’re trying to stay on task here, and if that person also has a “quick” question, you just voluntarily dove headfirst into a rabbit hole.
Protect your personal time. You know when it’s easiest to get distracted? When you would rather be doing something else. If you don’t allow yourself to have the rich personal life you desire, those times when you aren’t on task because your mind is elsewhere will become more frequent. Prioritize your personal life, wellness, and mental health. Your business, productivity, and focus will be better for it.