Want To Get ‘Er Done? Make Yourself Unavailable

If you want me, you can pretty much have me, any time. I guess that makes me easy.

Phone me, and I’ll answer. Send me an email and I’ll respond or at least read it pretty darn quick. Facebook me, tweet me, text me….any way you want it baby, I’m your beck and call girl. 
 
But those days are coming to an end. There are just too many demands and too little time to fit it all in. Something has to go.

After reading how Lifehacker Craig Jarrow makes it a point of being unreachable in order to be more productive, I’ve decided to try to emulate him. At least for a few weeks to see how it goes.

For the record, I have answered the phone TWICE while writing this, answered THREE tweets, responded to a text and checked my email FIVE times. I am a hopeless case.

Here are Craig Jarrow’s top tactics for limiting distractions:
  • Don’t Answer That Phone: If it’s not important, don’t answer. That is what voicemail is for.
  • Only
    Read the Important Email:
    Don’t check it so often. And when you do, make sure to read the important ones first. Delete the spam.
  • Use
    Quick Forms of Communication:
    A quick IM, text, or tweet can be much
    more efficient in some circumstances. Sometimes it is not necessary to
    get on the phone or have a face-to-face chat.
  • Set
    Expectations:
    One of the best ways to limit interruptions is to set
    expectations. Ensure that co-workers and friends know the preferred methods of
    communications and when it is appropriate to interrupt.
  • Practice
    the Right to Decline:
    Many people feel guilty if they do not answer
    their phone or immediately respond to an email. Give yourself permission
    to decline the interruptions.


Craig Jarrow is the author of Time Management Ninja.
The mission of this site it to help individuals and companies reclaim
their time. He writes about time management, productivity, and goal
setting.
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