Tell me if this sounds familiar: You have ONE thing that you’d really like to accomplish today. You sit down to do it…only to be interrupted by a phone call. Then you have to rush to a meeting, then you go on a few errands, end up filing the day’s mail…and before you know it, the day is over and your task is left unfinished!
Where did the time go? There is no perfect solution to stop daily distractions, but a trick I learned in my years teaching elementary school certainly can help. Let me explain…
In the school where I taught, reading was a huge priority. However, the hour-long reading block was frequently interrupted by assemblies, testing, the vaccine clinic, etc…so we instituted something called “Protected Time.”
Protected Time was an hour during which no events, tests, drills or other distractions were planned. It was so teachers knew they had that one untouched hour they could count on to focus on reading skills with their students. At first it was easy to see all the problems with this. (How will this affect the master schedule!? How can we be so inflexible!) But when you start looking for solutions instead of problems, it’s amazing how quickly things work out.
Of course reserving some protected time of your own would be much easier if everyone in your work life could agree to the same hour, but remember….solutions people, not problems
How can you reserve yourself an hour of protected time to work on things that require focus? Can you close your door at work? Turn off your smart phone? Close your email? Let others know that you’re unavailable during that hour? How you protect your time will vary based on your situation, but I urge you to try it.
After all, we work hard to protect so many other things in our lives, isn’t your time worth protecting too?
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