There were only three rules for Billy’s new pet: no water, no food after midnight and no bright lights. Did you see the movie Gremlins?
Once this happened, the cute, adorable little pet became a green monster creating chaos.
Do you have attention grabbing gremlins? What are your monsters?
My monsters include Facebook, Email, Twitter, Instagram, and ShopStyle (yes I love when my fave brands are on sale). What would you add to this list?
As a productivity expert I get distracted and overwhelmed and when this occurs, the gremlins are more frequent.
Here are three strategies to help manage your attention grabbing gremlins:
Don’t feed your gremlin – it takes discipline to stay off social media sites (it’s harder than it sounds) if that’s a struggle for you, try apps like Freedom (site blocking software). It’s also worthwhile using your gremlins as a reward, meaning allow yourself to look at social media AFTER completing important proposals, or speech preparation or client calls.
Avoid after midnight – just like Billy couldn’t feed his pet after midnight, consider turning off email, social media, text messages, notifications and other distractions at this late hour to allow you to have deeper sleep and not be pulled into distracting and unproductive activity and conversations. Please don’t send team members emails late at night; it steals minutes from them and their family (because if you are the boss, they think they need to respond). Where possible, wait to send the emails in the morning.
Put it away – ‘out of sight’ may help ‘out of mind’. Can you spend a few minutes eliminating the distractions of unfinished projects, unread books, unviewed magazines and put them away until you are ready to action them? We find when working with our clients on creating a productive environment the simple act of putting items in drawers, books on shelves, projects in files it helps people feel a sense of order and that allows them not to be constantly reminded of everything left to do.
BONUS tip: Create a to-do list – an old fashioned , paper list. Spend 15 minutes doing a mental brain dump of all the activities you want to get done at work (and at home) – this huge list might inspire you to focus on completing those activities and help you mange your attention gremlins.
What do you do to manage your attention gremlins? Love to hear your ideas here on our blog: