Do you regularly sit down at your desk with the goal of completing some important task for work or school, only to find yourself completely overwhelmed by the papers strewn about your desk?
You don’t know what half of them are for, and you don’t want to know, but every single time they manage to drag your attention away from the thing you sat down to do. Just the sight of them in front of you immediately makes you feel stressed. Where do you begin?
Whether your workspace is a kitchen table, a desk, or a chair at the nearest Starbucks, consider it a mirror into your mind. Having a cluttered, distracted mind is not going to help you do your best work. The same goes for your workspace.
I’m not saying you have to turn into the organizer bunny overnight (the Energizer Bunny’s second cousin!). It’s an acquired skill that takes plenty of practice. However, if you are serious about getting things done, a clean and uncluttered workspace is a great first step.
Time management expert Mark Woods of Attack Your Day! Before it Attacks You has formulated a few simple steps that can help you take your desk from cluttered to controlled. All you need is an hour of your time to dedicate to a little priority paper piling. Once you’re finished, those countless hours that were lost trying to study or work while distracted by the clutter will hopefully be a thing of the past.
Check out the video below for more information about this time management tip that could be the difference between getting things done or being controlled by overpowering piles of paper!
Welcome to the first post of our new blog series devoted to Attack Your Day! Before it Attacks You. We are very proud to partner with Attack Your Day to help provide important time and activity management tips to our busy Northcentral University students. If you find yourself struggling to meet deadlines, are easily distracted, or easily overwhelmed when you have a lot to do, we encourage you to take a few minutes to read these posts, watch the videos, and discover how developing time management skills can help you become a more efficient worker and/or student.
Wouldn’t it be nice if every time you were supposed to be doing something important, such as working on your dissertation for your NCU doctoral program, but found yourself getting distracted by social media browsing or answering and sending emails, texts and phone calls, that an alarm would go off reminding you to stay on task?
Imagine that alarm is actually a police siren warning you that if you don’t stop now, you might find yourself in Email Jail!
Time management expert Mark Woods of Attack Your Day describes Email Jail as a person’s habitual tendency to sit in front of a computer pretending to be engaged in work when he or she is really “chit-chatting” over email and wasting time.
While it’s no secret that we are a social society and thrive on interaction and communication, a condition exacerbated by the development of smartphones (Those pint-sized personal computers always seem to be conveniently sitting within arm’s reach, don’t they!?), the truth is our tendency to get distracted can take time away from more important things.
Let’s look at of some recent statistics concerning social distractions:
- A May 2011 study in the Personal and Ubiquitous Computing (Pers Ubiquit Comput) journal reports that on average, people check their smartphones 34 times a day.
- A 2011 survey by email management expert Dr. Monica Seeley found that 25 percent of us expect a reply to our emails within an hour.
- In December 2011, ComScore reported that nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online is on a social network. In addition, for every 4 minutes spent on a social networking site, 3 of those minutes are spent on Facebook.
- A 2011 infographic by Search Engine Journal reports that 1 in 4 Americans watches a YouTube video online every day.
Does that sounds like a distracted society to you? So how can you avoid the Email Jail threat and tone down the social distractions that can keep you from getting things done and meeting your deadlines? Check out the video below for some helpful tips.