For many of us this time of year provides even more distraction than usual, so how do you maintain productivity in the face of all that temptation?
Here are some tips to help you manage distraction and make memories this summer.
Designate specific times of day to look at these and tell everyone around you that you’ll be doing that. You can add this to your email signature, What’s App description, out of office and group descriptions. The basic principle is that if your clients know that you’re only looking at those times they won’t be hovering impatiently over their notifications waiting for a response – and that’ll help their productivity too!
If your working day is going to be disrupted by unforeseen moments requiring you to don the parental or partner hat then plan for that. Reconstruct your day to be interruptible and let go of the expectation that you’re going to get as much done as you normally would. Keep your mindset light and flexible and remember, you run your business, not the other way around. Oh and you don’t need to have your own business to have a plan for the day, collaborating on how everyone will spend their time will make for much less friction.
Whether your distractions take the form of a 2 year old or a 20 year old, negotiation is key. And though the language and incentives might differ, the communication is pretty much the same. They’re going to want to know what’s in it for them – so leverage that! Let the people around you know what your plan is for the day and the way in which their patience will be rewarded. You may even plan a wee reward for yourself too!
This might just be the one thing you need to do to make the difference – for now and in the future. As a business owner, it’s really easy to fall into the trap of being busy. This is usually a sign that there is an underlying issue you are avoiding. But there’s nothing like having your working pattern interrupted to help you focus on doing only those things that really matter. And this summer, you could observe what that feels like and let it become a new behaviour going forward. The long-term benefit of that is you will create more space to work on what’s important and create judgement-free downtime too.
Having added distraction thrown into your working day, even though you know it’s temporary can be exhausting! All of your creative multi-tasking and project management skills will be Netflix-worthy they’re so on demand. And in this age of instant gratification, you’ll be wondering how many remotes you’re connected to as well as who’s in charge of them! Never is it more necessary for you to carve out time for yourself than now. Ok so you might need to get real about what that looks like but it’s nonetheless got to be at the top of your priority list.
Finally, a reminder of my favourite mantra, “this too shall pass”. Speaking as a parent of three kids, they’re not lying when they say that your time with them is very short. I’m grateful to have a wonderful relationship with our nearly-not-a-teenager-anymore who will keep coming back to connect but it does feel odd to know that when she visits now, it really is a visit, it’s not coming home anymore. So I will be enjoying having these distractions and I hope you will join me – let’s make some memories from our distractions this summer!