Would you say you are getting the most out of the time you have? How you manage your distractions determines what you get done. Here are some techniques to help you handle what distracts you so that you achieve your best output daily.

Identify the distractions

Be aware of the distractions, what form they take and how they affect you. Have a way to handle people who waste your time and those who drain your energy. Be conscious of behaviours and habits that squander your time. The more aware you are of what distracts you, the better able you’ll be to do something about it so that distractions don’t undermine your effectiveness.

Keep to your priorities

Use your priorities to set the bar for what you need to get done. The reason for setting priorities is so that you focus on the tasks that matter and schedule them so that they get done. If you keep transferring your key activities from your to do list day after day, you have lost control of your schedule and need to reset it. Say no to the things that you find interesting and love to do if it’ll compete with time you should be giving to the priorities.

Work towards outcomes

Don’t just do tasks in isolation or simply tick off items on your work plan. Have assessment measures to ensure you are doing the set of tasks that together will advance the outcome you are working towards. Set up the right structures and reminders every single day so that you achieve good traction consistent progress. The hardest thing about sticking to a schedule is forcing oneself to do the hard things instead of gravitating towards what you find easy. Do what must get done and advances achievement of the outcomes.

Negotiate the unplanned

You may not be you’re not in a position to fully decide what you spent your time on but it’s your responsibility to do what it takes stick to what needs to get done. Learn to negotiate your workload with your manager. Explain and present some options on what how you can rejig your workload to make room for any new things that come up so that you can deliver your responsibilities and live up to your obligations in a sustainable way.

Now take action: Define the top two distractions you struggle with. Decide this week what you’re going to do about them.

Tackle Your Distraction