As I write this, I can barely see through the white snow out my office window. The lake doesn`t exist. The white birch trees have disappeared. A snow day! Excitement, giddiness, a throw back to school days. And that`s the problem. This can also happen if the doctor`s appointment is cancelled. Or your client rescheduled, so you are in your office for the day.
Especially when we have a surprise gift of extra time, we can get so incredibly distracted by how great we feel with this gift. We make a list a mile long of what we`re going to get done with this extra time.
And then we chip away at it, and chip and chip `& getting little things done but nothing we really wanted or needed to finish.
Decide if this will be a ‘vacation’ day or a ‘power work’ day.
Get clear on how you want to use the time. Otherwise, you`ll float through the day, trying out both and not being happy at the end of the day with how you feel. Commit.
Be clear on what would make this is a useful and productive day.
If you decide this will be a day to get a lot done, then take a minute or two to select the one or two projects you want to complete. One is even better; then after it`s done, select a second one. Selecting one or two gives you clarity on what is truly important today. And you`ll be less likely to overestimate how much you can get done. Your head won`t be as cluttered because you`ll only have those two items running around in your head. Clutter affects your productivity and clarity of thinking.
`Is this how you want to use your time?`
Find a way to keep your goals at the top of your mind. A post it note. An auditory reminder ` watch, cell phone, egg timer. On the pc, shut down your browser and email. Use it as a reward for when you are a half-way point, rewarding for efforts, not just results.
If you find yourself wandering off track, find a phrase that works to get yourself back on track. You`ll need to experiment. Mine is `Was this really how you wanted to use this time?` Clients have used: `What was #1 today?` and `Susan Fay, where` s your head at right now.` And a side benefit: over time is that this thinking becomes an automatic process.
How much time is left?
Take those breaks; they give you a sense of how much time has passed and what time of day it is. Working through lunch will give you a false sense of how much time`s gone by and you won`t get a brain break, which makes you far more productive.
I like the www.timetimer.com at my desk. It shows me how much time is left, rather than what time it is. A quick glance means less of a break in my concentration.