Don't Create Your Own Chaos
While you normally think of interruptions being created by others and brought to bear on your circus, don't miss those "changes of direction" that are often caused by your own inability to plan or focus properly. Some examples include:
- Leaving "e mail notification" turned on for your email program. Each time the indicator pops up telling you that you have a message, you are distracted. It's just human nature to say, "I wonder who is e mailing me?"
- Not managing your sleep patterns, exercise or food intake. If you are ready to crawl on your desk at 2 PM and take a nap, maybe it's time to start an exercise program that will help you sustain your energy throughout the day. Or perhaps you need to explore ways to get a better night's sleep-or watch what you eat at lunch that may be making you sleepy.
- Beginning-but not ending-an intense discussion with your spouse, children, or co-worker. If you have something serious to discuss, choose a time that you can prudently work through the issue. Leaving "loose ends" in discussions will weigh heavily on you in those moments at work when you should be focusing on other tasks.
Most importantly, be the ringmaster. As much as it's possible, take control of your time, energy and actions... or someone else certainly will.