A wise man once said, “If you don’t keep your eye on the ultimate, you become slave to the immediate.”
Any person’s job can be very stressful with all the daily happenings competing for your attention. A person can be have their mind set on accomplishing a handful of productive tasks when they wake up and by the time they get to the office everything has changed.
First, an urgent phone call on line two, then John wants to talk about an account, next Bob is upset at Sally, ensuing an unexpected email needs to be answered, then a quick youtube video, then a couple of your friends picture that were posted desperately need to be “liked”, and before you realize it the entire day has been wasted.
What is the saddest is you did what seems like a lot, but nothing was accomplished. So what is a person to do? You must keep your eyes set on the ultimate. First and foremost know what your top priorities are, the things that if accomplished would move the pegs the most. As Brian Tracy would say, “you must eat the bullfrog first”.
Second you must see everything else as a distraction that CAN be handled after you finish your top priorities (no exceptions). If the phone rings, don’t answer it (unless your job is to answer phones of course). If you get a text, don’t respond until it is a convenient time for YOU. Jim Rohn recommends that you push all problem calls to the afternoon, as he called it “problems after 3pm”. Sometimes the problems seemed to work themselves out by the time he got back with them, as they typically do.
Also, there is no law that says you have to answer your cell phone. It can just ring and go to voicemail. I’m sure you have caller ID. Just because they seem to have an “emergency” doesn’t mean it has to become your emergency. You don’t have to become slave to someone else’s availability.
I have people who try to tell me or ask me about a situation in passing. If I try to remember off the top of my head, I normally make a mistake. Each time I ask them to write it down and I’ll take a look into it when I get a chance; again problems after 3pm. Then when 3pm arrives I can take care of everything in one single focused sprint knocking out each task one at a time.