Use the 80-20 Rule

Guard your time for greater effectiveness. Put someone or something between you and interruptions, no matter how well intended. Hire a personal assistant. Let the answering machine get the calls. Retain a call-answer service.

Unless those calls or visitors are critical to your business and need to be responded to, by you, right now, find another way to handle them.

You need uninterrupted time to work on priorities. We know that interruptions are the greatest time wasters there are. It takes more energy to get back to productive work after the interruption has left.

A shield to your time can get the essential information and pass it along, allowing you to respond to it at a time and in a manner that works best for you.

“Do you go full throttle and then collapse at the end of the day? You think it’s because life is so hectic, but it’s really because you’re using adrenaline as your fuel source. Adrenaline tells you you’re great; it gives you superhuman power; you probably like it, but, sorry, it’s not sustainable. “

Laura Berman Fortang, Take Yourself to the Top

Five Days of Action

Think about interruptions. How much time do you lose to interruptions when you could be working on priorities? How are you interrupted? Conduct an ‘interruption analysis’ and determine what adjustments you need to make.

Today put something or someone between you and your interruptions. Set a new standard for yourself. You need quality time to concentrate on priorities. What will it take to allow that to happen? This is a day to take action.

Speak to those few people who most interrupt. Be kind but articulate a clear boundary that will protect your time.

You’ve heard it said, “Sometimes you’re your own worst enemy”. You have to guard against interrupting yourself. You may stop others but are you constantly distracted by other things? Clear your desk. Concentrate on one thing at a time until complete.

Train your personal assistant well. They are not only your shield against interruptions but a conduit through which vital information flows. They can be invaluable to your effectiveness. Aim high for a quality individual.