Dec 152012

I think most of us feel a bit stressed and harried by the standard modern day workplace — too many emails arriving minute by minute in the inbox, too many text messages, too many instant messages, too many meetings that take too long and accomplish too little, too many conversations that distract us from the critical items that must be done, and too many forays onto the internet that wind up in diverting us for dozens of minutes at a time.

In short, distractions are killing our productivity, which dominos into greater frustrations and feelings of stress.

I noticed years ago, how I usually did my best creative work of the month while sitting at 38,000 feet, bound for Boise or Jacksonville. Being cut off from other people for a few hours, has its merits.

Try this simple idea: Do not check your e-mail and don’t wander anywhere off topic on the internet until 1 pm, right after lunch, for just one week. Consider activating the auto-responder feature on your email system so that it tells those who email you that you are unable to check email until “late this afternoon” so that those folks that expect realtime responses are placated. If possible, respond to every text message with a standard message too. If you promise “late this afternoon” and then get back to someone before 2 pm, you will have under promised and over delivered, a great little benefit while reducing your stress.

I believe you will find that carving out distraction-free (or at least distraction limited) zen work time each morning before lunch, then beating back life’s little urgencies in the afternoon, will bring new order, new peace, and a new level of productivity to your day.

Why not give it a shot? You have the power to choose, to design your own life, and this is but one small step. Send me an email and let me know the results of your experiment, using the contact form above.

I.M. Optimism Man


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