Our reader poll today asks: What is the biggest challenge you face when it comes to managing your time?
- Too many meetings: 18%
- Too many emails: 22%
- Too many interruptions: 40%
- Poor calendar planning: 2%
- Difficulty estimating task length: 10%
- Something else: 7%
Pardon the interruption. The clear winner in time management challenges is the dreaded interruption. Once someone breaks your concentration, it takes 5 to 15 minutes to get back on track. Find ways to minimize the interruptions. Close your door. Work in a conference room outside your normal work area. Work from home. If an interruption does happen, try telling the person “It sounds like this is an important issue. I want to give it the attention it deserves. I’m focused on something else right now. Can we set a time to reconnect later today to discuss?” It acknowledges their issue and tells them they’re important. It allows you to get back to your task. And a lot of times by the time that meeting has rolled around, the person has resolved the issue without your help. Everyone wins. If you don’t protect your time, no one else will do it for you. Be proactive about it if you want to actually get things done.
Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!
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These results were originally a SmartPulse poll in SmartBrief on Leadership which tracks feedback from more than 240,000 business leaders. Get smarter on leadership and sign up for the SmartBrief on Leadership e-newsletter.