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Article: Do not be disturbed!

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Do not be disturbed!

09:00 Today I only work until 15:00 to have more time for my family.

09:03 What awaits me today? Meeting with managers at 11:00, emails, write an article and also plan the new project we are launching in October.

09:10 I'll check Gmail and Slack to see if anyone on the team needs my help...

10:30 We have a meeting with the managers in a moment, what were we supposed to bring there? Summary of the last quarter? My goodness! How can I prepare it in such a short time?


18:01 I'm going home! Shop, cook dinner, let's eat at least before eight o'clock... I only have an outline for the article, but I couldn't do it, I'll consider it completed today. Oh and I didn't even get around to planning the project... How is that possible after I've been here so long?

Did you meet? What's holding you back? Coffee with colleagues? Was the meeting with the managers extended? Or did you spend a lot of time on social networks, watching videos, or just surfing the endless waters of the Internet instead of working? The details, times and tasks may vary, but one thing remains common: no matter how much we work, we often miss the most important tasks . And that even when it seems to us that we are working "productively".

What disturbs us? And what with that?

According to the Harvard Business Review, a person working in an office checks their email inbox an average of 74 times a day and picks up their phone a fascinating 2,617 times. In addition, a few phone calls and conversations with colleagues, a break for lunch and a coffee, and another working day is done!

So can anything meaningful be accomplished at all? Something you planned in the Ten Years or Five Years?

Will give. But in order to start working on our goals, we must first get rid of distractions.

For help, we will use proven tricks from the book Indistractable by the American author Nir Eyal.

He recommends getting rid of distractions in 4 steps. Mastering external distractions, conquering internal influences, creating time to move on the goal and work with your values ​​and identity.

Let's go!

Control external influences

The most visible obstacles to our concentration are the people in our immediate surroundings and the never-ending notifications about all kinds of news that we have at our fingertips on our phone or computer.

Did you know that according to Gloria Mark's research , it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back to the original task? The interruption does not only cost us the time it takes us to write off a message or make a phone call. This is why we should do more to protect our focus. But where to start?

Let everyone know that you are unstoppable

Whether you work in an office or a home office, you can rarely be completely alone at work. There are always colleagues or family members who appear at your desk from time to time and "have" to tell you the most important news of the day.

It may not bother you so much when writing emails or other routine activities, but the problem arises with demanding tasks, when you need full concentration.

The best way to prevent disruptions is to agree on the rules. And prepare something that signals your concentration to others.

Do you know the red light that shines above the radio studio and signals that it is not allowed to enter the room because it is being broadcast live? Come up with your own alternative to this sign. It's much easier than you might think. You don't even have to install any complex devices.

In the physical world, a brightly colored piece of paper on the office door or a tag you know from hotels will suffice. And in the online world, for example, the status of the magnifying glass 🔎 on Slack, disabled notifications in a shared chat, or other distinctive sign.

Think right now about what signal could work in your case.

The most important thing is to clearly explain to colleagues and family what time you will use this sign and then stick to your rules. It may take some time for them to respect your sign 100% and they may sometimes ignore it because they will be convinced that their question or problem is more important than your focus.

But don't forget that every time they accept it, you get almost half an hour of concentrated work ! If you could do it at least twice a day, you would get 5 hours of focused work a week for the good 👌

Get rid of emails!

Emails were invented to speed up communication and save time. However, if you do not have clear rules for working with emails in the company where you work, they can easily become an obstacle to your effective work. However, if you learn these basic rules, you won't offend anyone and you'll save a lot of time.

Send fewer emails!

The first rule may sound logical, after all, we only send emails that are necessary. But is it really so?!

  • Think about whether you always reply only to those emails that require a response?
  • Aren't you unnecessarily adding other colleagues to the copy who don't need to know about this particular report?
  • Would you rather pick up the phone if you suspect that it will be a longer discussion via email?

Try to reduce the number of emails you send, because the equation also works the other way around, the fewer emails you send, the fewer emails you receive. 🙂

Write faster and send shorter emails

Do you think about every email for half an hour and choose the most correct words? Do you try to write the introduction and the conclusion as respectfully as you remember from the lessons of professional correspondence? Nevermind!

On the other side sits a person just like you, who does not tolerate unnecessary sauces and wants to handle emails as soon as possible.

  • Say hello politely and get down to business!
  • Describe clearly and as briefly as possible what you need and when.
  • At the end, say thank you and wait for a brief and clear answer.
  • On the indicated date, remind yourself with your request, if it has not yet been fulfilled.
Extra tip: If you want to meet, propose two or three dates and times when it suits you to speed up your communication.

Reply to emails at reserved times

If the third rule is new to you, get ready because it will change your life! And literally. Everyone who has put it into practice tells me this repeatedly.

Create times in your schedule when you will reply to emails (and other work messages, whether on Whatsapp, Slack or anywhere where clients, partners or colleagues write to you). A suitable time can be in the morning, after fulfilling your priority for the day, when you are planning other tasks, returning from your lunch break or in the afternoon just before leaving the office.

In the pre-allocated time, reply to all emails that require your response. Then close Gmail or Outlook. Turn off notifications. And open it again at the allotted time. All done.

In this way, emails will not disturb you while you are concentrating on your work, and at the same time, none of them will wait too long for a reply. Determine the length of one block for writing off emails according to the nature of your work. If you work in customer support, maybe it will be 2 hours. That's totally fine. Your goal is not to get rid of emails, just to limit their access to your attention when you are working on other tasks.

Avoid group messages

Like emails, group messages were originally supposed to save our time. However, if we spend most of our working time in them and deal with disparate ideas, questions or comments from colleagues, they definitely do not save time.

Avoid group chats and create them only in necessary cases .

Stick to the basic rules:

  • Turn off notifications for all group chats for most of the day (and see what's new in them only during your designated times to write to messages)
  • If you create a group chat, think carefully about who you add there. Don't waste your colleagues' time by adding them to a conversation about a topic that doesn't concern them.
  • Don't use a group message to brainstorm your ideas. After all, that's what Napadník is for! Think everything through in advance and with your colleagues, only solve specific scenarios for which you need their feedback.

Turn off all notifications on your computer and mobile

All kinds of sounds, beeps, pop-up windows, banners or numbers on application icons. All of these are attention grabbers that want to convince us to click as soon as possible on an email or the latest message on Messenger, a message from home or the world on a news portal, a like that someone gave us on Facebook or Instagram. And many others, the list is basically inexhaustible.

If you also want to protect your concentration and become undisturbed, turn off all notifications on your mobile, computer and smart watch.

I strongly recommend doing this step for all apps on your phone and computer. Combine it with preparing for the Christmas holidays or summer vacation. Or do it right now - at the end of the Do Not Disturb ebook, you will also find a special checklist that will help you.

You can turn on the applications that you will miss after a while. If you find that you often text with your family on messenger or the application for watering flowers suddenly does not remind you when to water them.

However, you will never turn most of them back on. Again, I have confirmation from several Journalists and colleagues at work, to whom I advised this procedure :)

Extra tip for managers: I don't go to a meeting without an agenda!

Do you not have enough time to devote to your most important tasks because you attend a lot of meetings that lead nowhere? Did the participants come unprepared or do they not know why they were called to the meeting?

Introduce a new rule in your team or the entire company: I don't go to a meeting without an agenda! (from English. No agenda - no meeting)

It works simply: the person who wants to convene a meeting must send an agenda with clearly written points to all participants, no later than 24 hours in advance. Each participant can thus think through the answers to the questions that will be discussed at the meeting, can add their own points to the agenda that are related to the discussed topic, and can also invite someone else who they think is needed at the meeting.

Thanks to this, you will sometimes find that the consultation is not even necessary, because the problem was solved by itself during the preparation. Other meetings will be shorter, more productive and will lead to the expected results faster, because everyone has already thought through their position during the preparation.

And you will get more time to concentrate on your tasks.

Become unstoppable!

Don't wait until "it calms down a bit at work" or until there is a more convenient time. Get started today. Choose a strategy from the article and start trying it gradually. Come back later and try something else. Some things may be easier for you, others more difficult. It's OK. This is also part of your journey.

Gradually build habits that will help you become unstoppable. Become unbreakable . Go after your goals and you will become an authentic version of yourself.

Go one step further!

You may quickly get external distractions under control and want to move on. To control internal influences and find time to make a move on the goal.

Then there is an ebook for you: Do not be disturbed!

Download it absolutely free here:

Download our new ebook

Get rid of unwanted distractions and create more time to
which is really important.

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