Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Work Interrupted!

“Nothing will work unless you do.” Maya Angelou

  • Why doesn’t my work get done?
  • How could I miss such an important deadline?
  • Why is everything such a mess?
  • Where did the time go?

If you feel frustrated, behind schedule and a little lost all day long, you are not alone. Today’s world is full of things that kill our focus and make us inattentive. Due to these factors, we may feel exhausted at the end of the day and yet unsatisfied with what we have accomplished in the preceding 24 hours. The pile of responsibilities never seems to diminish making us feel stressed out and dispirited.

Let’s look at some of the reasons and how we can fix them:

Too Many Distractions:

If you find yourself wondering, “Where did the time go?”many times a day, you better take a closer look at your social media addiction. Every update ping from Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber and Twitter wrecks your train of thought making it difficult for you to concentrate on the chore at hand and even making it look dull, boring and totally unappealing in comparison.

If you interrupt your work to check every email and SMS that lands in your Inbox, you are not going to get much work done, whether it is office related or something as simple as vacuuming the TV lounge. The remedy too is in your own hands. Keep your phone hidden in a drawer if you are working on something that does not require its constant presence. Train yourself to ignore unimportant or personal emails at work and at home designate a specific time for this purpose.

Too Much on the Mind:

Many people nowadays juggle too many responsibilities. A working mother may be thinking about her daughter’s costume for the school play or her son’s grades. Maybe someone is worried about paying bills or taking a family member to a doctor. An altercation with a colleague or a family feud can destroy our concentration because we play the same words over and over again in our minds. 

It is very hard to focus on work when duties, errands and unpleasant thoughts are buzzing around in our head. The best way to tackle this distraction is to write things down and make a to-do-list. Then force these distractions off your mind and focus on the task at hand. And for the people who cause you endless trouble, someone said it best, “Don’t let people who annoy you occupy a rent-free space in your mind.”

Too Haphazard in your Approach: 

How many times do you slap your forehead and say, “I didn’t do XYZ and now it’s too late?”

If you wake up with 20 things to do and go to bed with 50 things still left undone, you are not going to feel very happy with life. Every day, make a list of things that need to get done and set a deadline for that task. Whether you use apps like Wunderlist or Todoist, or the plain old pencil and notebook, jotting things down helps you to separate the unnecessary from the urgent and the important.

You have to call someone to offer condolences, make an appointment with the doctor, pick up children from school, buy grocery, get a haircut, go for a walk or gym or clean the fridge, write down a schedule and set a rough deadline for each task. As soon as one task gets done, strike it off. After a few weeks you will be surprised at how many things you can get done in 24 hours without them seeming like a hassle. Don’t procrastinate or put off boring work. 

Too Much Fatigue:

Lack of sleep and fatigue can make it difficult for you to concentrate on work or find the will power to get it done. Adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep. Eating proper meals and keeping yourself hydrated are also necessary for good physical, emotional and mental health. 

And here’s what experts have to say:

Experts say that there are four golden rules of getting things done:

Know what you have to do. Whether it’s baking a cake, cleaning the fridge or giving an office presentation, you should know what tasks need to be done on a given day.

Have a firm deadline for getting it done. Remember “Someday” is not a day in any calendar. 

Know exactly what “done” looks, feels, sounds and smells like.

Understand the negative consequences of not getting the work done and the positive consequences of accomplishing the task.

These four rules should be enough to galvanize anyone to tackle their work with a more positive frame of mind. So spend more time getting things done than just doing them. 

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