How to Stay on Task
If you are in the business of marketing technology, decision analytics, or risk management, then wasting time is not an option. Getting off track because of trying to answer emails or doing too many things at once will keep you from accomplishing the most you can in the amount of time you have. Within the corporate world, four big time wasters can keep you from attaining the success you desire: email, multitasking, procrastination, and work environment.
If you have your email set to notify you as soon as one comes in, it can be as distracting as the telephone. If you try to answer each one when it arrives, you will never get anything accomplished. The best way to handle this problem is to have set times in the day that you answer email: first thing in the morning, at lunch, and before you leave for the day. When you’re not using your email, shut down the program so it’s not a distraction. When you do check email, focus first on the ones that are related to tasks most important to your daily plan and set others aside for later. Otherwise, you will waste valuable time on tasks that are the priority of other people.
Besides email begging for attention non-stop, people also try to accomplish more than one task at a time, multitasking. In reality, this is really more of a hindrance than a help. If you will focus on one task at a time, you will complete the task faster and will retain the information better. Since your focus is not divided, you will also process the information faster and with more accuracy.
Procrastination is another stumbling block. When handed a task that seems either difficult or unpleasant, people’s tendency is to put it off. Instead, try breaking it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. This way, the task moves forward and gets completed without the stress that comes from procrastinating.
Finally, work environments can be a death trap to those in the high stress worlds of risk management, decision analytics, and marketing technology. These fields require high concentration to begin with. Having extreme noise or clutter reduces your ability to focus. Wasting time looking for items because your desk is so disorganized is also a problem. Taking the time to organize your desk, clean the clutter, and invest in some headphones to shut out the noise can set you apart from the rest of the crowd.
Learning how to maximize your time and abilities within a high stress field is key to being successful. Keeping your email under control, managing your environment, pushing forward rather than procrastinating, and doing one task at a time are all simple ways that you can help set yourself up to succeed.
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