Learn how to how to manage the expectations of others in and friendly yet productive way. Minimize your distractions by shifting from a culture of now to a culture of when.
- It's great for us to talk about how you can personally be more focused, but what about all the interruptions that are coming from other people? Som studies have shown that the average worker is interrupted at least 11 times every hour. So much of this stems from what I call the culture of now. The culture of now says that when I send you an email, I expect an answer right now. Or if I send you a text message or a voicemail, I want an answer right now. Instead, we want to transition to the culture of when.
The culture of when says when you send me an email or a text message or a voicemail, I'm going to respond to every single one of these, and this is when I'm going to do this. In this way we turn focus management a little bit into expectation management. Here are some tools that you can use to help manage the expectation of others around you. First of all, let's just have a conversation with them. You can ask a few questions like how quickly do you expect me to respond to your email? Or, what's the maximum amount of time I can take to finish a project on average? And then you can have that same conversation vice versa.
You're establishing a culture of when as you have this conversation. Second, you can create a one-to-one meeting schedule with key individuals on your team. In this way we predict how often we're going to be asking each other questions, but rather than interrupting each other throughout the day, we establish that time and we ask those questions during that recurring time in our schedules. Third, we can also talk about email expectations. During this conversation we can talk about how long it's appropriate for every member on the team to respond to an email, on average.
Fourth, we can have the same conversation about voicemail. And fifth, we want to establish an emergency channel. You know sometimes things happen that we have to respond to immediately. So what's the channel that we're going to use for those emergencies? Is it text message? Is it a particular chat app? Just have that conversation. Can we completely get rid of the interruptions in your day? No, but can we implement strategies to reduce them? Absolutely, and every reduction in interruptions improves your focus.
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- Maintaining focus for longer periods of time
- Using your calendar to preserve focus
- Building a mental firewall
- Establishing expectations and boundaries
- Making time for others
- Avoiding distractions in a digital world
- Improving your workspace