Timejackers!

by Sep 23, 2015Productivity

Do you ever finish your day and think about all the things you didn’t get done?
Do you feel like you’re constantly living off of someone else’s agenda?
Does the clock play tricks on you and suddenly it’s two hours later, and your work is still sitting there?

Stop the Timejackers!

Timejackers are those little things that pop up that disrupt, derail and keep us from doing our Top Tasks. Examples include:

The guy who always stops by our desk to see if we watched the game last night.
The woman sitting next to us on the plane who doesn’t care that we have our nose in a book.
The texts, emails and phone noises.
The people in the meetings who don’t know the meaning of ‘talk about it offline’.

Everyone has their own Timejackers. At the end of almost every day, I look back on what I accomplished. When I have days that feel like I didn’t GSD, it’s always due to Timejackers, some of which are completely in my control.

I love giving workshops and presentations. I don’t like practicing them because it doesn’t feel authentic. I can’t practice in the morning when I’m least likely to procrastinate because I’m not alone. Last week, I kept pushing it off until 6 pm and then had to make myself do it before I could eat dinner. I allowed everything and anything to Timejack me. I fully recognize why I did it, but I need a better plan on the days I practice my talks. Now, as soon as I'm alone in the office, it's practice time until I get that task completed.

When I’m on a plane, I put headphones on, even when the only thing they are connected to is the lint in my pocket. I usually have a book or my laptop out as soon as I can. I’m not one to talk much on a plane. I’m either tired, want to get work done or just want to relax. I used to feel bad about telling someone chatty that I didn’t feel like talking, but now I’m more assertive, especially if I do need to get work done.

I haven’t had email notifications turned on in five years. I use a Google Voice number now to screen calls, and my cell phone is on Do Not Disturb during all of my working hours. I check texts about once per hour on my laptop because I do accountability texting with my clients. Since I don’t often respond immediately, I’ve never had an issue with someone needing me to respond immediately. The only time I check more often is if I'm meeting someone outside the office.

Pick one of your Timejackers and devise a plan to counterattack. Know that while some of them won’t be under your control, many of them are, you just need to be prepared with a plan.

 

Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects