Your Daily Destiny — How to Manage the Bumps in Your Road

Your daily destiny in every moment…

Your daily destiny is in your hands. And using solid time management strategies helps you prioritize, organize, and plan ahead.

But once you have a plan, you also need solid skills for managing those inevitable interruptions that challenge your focus and your productivity. 

Sharpening these skills will keep you on track. 

Neglecting them means that you’ll lose your focus, and your effectiveness and productivity will suffer.

And this is a moment-by-moment matter. Interruptions and distractions are going to tempt and challenge you no matter how carefully you plan. So, here are some ideas to help you manage it all and feel better about your choices.

Your daily destiny — one scenario:

Is this familiar?  You have a deadline and each tick of the clock brings it closer, as you work hard to meet it.  You are churning out creative ideas and ticking off items on your to-do list.  Suddenly, someone pops into your office.

How do you feel when this distraction suddenly asks for your attention?

Your response requires skills that are different from the skills you need to plan and prioritize ahead of time.  And your response is important, in two ways:

  • The what of your response determines what happens, concretely and immediately, in the time that follows.  Do you pause and spend time with the person?  Or stay on track and ask him or her to come back later? 
  • And how you respond can make you feel either empowered or depleted. Do you invite the person in but feel victimized by your choice?  This significantly affects your energy as you move ahead.

So BEFORE the interruptions is the best time to plan for them.  

3 Tips for Managing Interruptions:

You’ll accomplish more and enjoy a boost in morale when you expect interruptions and plan ahead for them. And keep in mind that the distractions may also be things like ideas, interesting websites, and daydreams.

The secret lies in creating proactive patterns.  You redirect distractions to scheduled time in your day. It’s best to make actual appointments.  In doing that you give them their due while you protect your focus and priorities.

1. See how you invite interruptions. 

Document (with friendly energy) the ways that you reward people for interrupting you. For example, do you keep your door open? Look up and smile? There may be many ways that you subtly invite unscheduled visits.

Remember, this is not an exercise in self-criticism. So, be sure to thank and validate yourself for each insight. This is a very practical and powerful way to start making more conscious choices and reclaiming your time.  Remember, your daily destiny is within your range of control.

2. Redirect interruptions to time you’ve reserved.

What time of day are you most productive? Block out that time, whenever possible, for activities you have prioritized in advance.

Next, choose a different part of the day for responding to requests and other things that pop up during the day. And remember, this can be for external interruptions or for the good ideas and interesting news stories that will also tug at your focus.  Estimate how much time you generally need to attend to these matters and then set that block of time aside, too, in your schedule.  And if you have a hard time maintaining boundaries around this time, scheduling it as the last thing before lunch or before you leave work gives you with a clear endpoint.

Keep your appointment book open and nearby. As interruptions arise, schedule them in for the time you’ve reserved. Be specific and be sure to follow through, whether your item involves another person or yourself alone. This builds trust, and you’ll be able to let go and return to your work more quickly.

3. Reduce interruptions by anticipating them.

Are there external interruptions that you can anticipate? If so, consider proactively contacting the person to set up a time to talk.  What might have been an interruption is now one of your priorities.

Taking the initiative when confronted with unexpected interruptions is very empowering!  When you realize that your daily destiny is in your hands, that has an immediate and positive impact on your choices, your focus, and your productivity.

Want more help with your daily destiny?

Time is pure potential. You decide how to use it; and once you do, it’s gone.  That’s why it’s so important to build on your best time choices.  If you feel like your time slips through your fingers, then you’ll want to claim your copy of my complimentary “Daily Choices Template:  Proven Strategies for Tracking Your Best Time Choices Today, Tomorrow & All Year!” There’s no time like the present – to start moving toward the future you envision for yourself.

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