How well do you schedule real life into your workflow? If you’re like me, you may not be the best at it.
I start every day planning what I’m going to do, when I’m going to do it and how much time I’ll spend. Invariably, each day goes to hell in a handbasket about an hour after I get into my schedule.
A phone call interrupts my work. More emails than I expect come in. There’s a hitch in a project that I have to handle. Twitter distracts me. My toddler needs some juice. The cat jumps on my lap.
They’re small things, but they add up in a day, and even more so in a week. The result? I get behind in my work. It’s a case of making up for lost time in the spare time I have or figuring out which projects can be delayed a little bit.
A thousand blogs out there will tell you how to cure this problem. Put up signs on your door. Don’t answer your phone. Shut down Twitter and answer your emails at specific times.
My question is, does doing all that really work?
The best advice I’ve ever been given is to plan for life getting in the way. Chunk two hours into your daily schedule and mark it down as “real life happening”. Reserve some time for distractions and interruptions that could happen.
When they do? You’re prepared. You have the time to deal with them. You can set down your project with a clear mind, knowing that you can take care of what’s cropped up with peace of mind. You won’t fall behind at all.
And if they don’t happen? Then you’ve “found” yourself two extra hours in a day that you didn’t have before. You can get ahead on your projects, or work on a personal one, or go out and market your services, or spend time improving your business.
How about you? Do you find yourself racing against the clock? Have you ever bitten off more than you can chew? What did you do to correct the situation?