Planning for Halloween seems to be in full gear in our community, and the stores are buzzing with wannabe Princesses and Dracula’s. Seeing all the vampire gear has made me think of a different kind of sucker … the dreaded time sucker. You know what they are, the annoying, necessary (but sometimes NOT!) and distracting parts of your day. Some you have control over, some not-so-much. Here are two that can sneak right up on you if you’re not looking:
Social Media: Yes, we all love and need social media … but there are times when it can be flat out distracting. Well-meaning friends ping you for a chat, someone posts an amazing article you just have to read, or you get sucked into a lively discussion on Facebook (These seem to get me every time!). Solution: Keep your social media browsers closed during your most productive time of day or during your peak creativity hours, and set a time limit on how much time you spend on whatever site it is that seems to draw you in and keep you otherwise occupied.
Skype: Truly (in my world) Skype is the coolest thing since sliced bread. HOWEVER, I am also a “sucker” for that “ping” noise when someone is contacting me. Since I am connected to clients and team members and Board and committee members of the organization I belong to, this happens to me a LOT. Solution: Take advantage of the settings on Skype that allow you to be in “do not disturb” or “away” mode and use them when you need to set aside some un-interrupted time.
Little by little, these distractions pull you from your daily focus and away from the critical tasks at hand. But the bottom line is, if you are aware of “time suckers” and are proactive about preventing them you are guaranteed to have a more productive day. Now go forth and conquer your day!