Uninterrupted time can help you become more productive. If you want a more productive design business, arrange your schedule to have periods of uninterrupted time. Time that is free of notifications and distractions, allowing you to focus all your energy on the task at hand.
If you’re anything like me, you have a million things on your mind, and a good number of them are on your to-do list. But no matter how efficient you think you are, there are only so many hours in a day, and never enough time to get things done.
But what if I told you there is a way to get more hours out of your day?
Ok, not really. Nobody has come up with a way to slow down or stop time yet. Or at least not that I know of. But there is a way for you to FEEL like you have more time and for you to be more productive. The trick is uninterrupted time. That means no distractions, a span where you focus 100% of your mental and creative energy on the task at hand.
Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you accomplished so much? Chances are, you felt that way because you were less distracted that day. One hour of uninterrupted time is equal to three hours of a regular workday, so it’s no wonder you felt like you accomplished so much.
How can one hour of uninterrupted time equal three hours of regular time? Let me explain.
The University of Illinois and Microsoft did a joint study on the impact of disruptions on the workforce and recovery time after those disruptions. They tested a pool of workers, monitoring their work habits and how they were affected by typical, everyday distractions such as email notifications, text messages, social media DMs and phone calls.
They deduced that the average worker takes nine munites to return to a task after an interruption. NINE MINUTES.
They’re not saying that it takes nine minutes to reply to an email or a DM. But that most people, when distracted, will take a bit of extra time before getting back to the task they were distracted from. Replying to a Facebook Message may only take a few seconds. But while distracted from their primary task, they might as well check to see if anyone liked or commented on their most recent post. Or after replying to a text message, they may as well see if any new emails came arrived. Or they may decide to take the time to refill their coffee before getting back on track.
So, on average, simple distractions like a social media DM can take you away from your primary task for up to nine minutes. And that’s just time away from the task. There was a study a while back that said it takes roughly 10-20 minutes of working on something to become entirely focused on the job.
You may be thinking, “I don’t take nine minutes to get back to a task after a distraction.” The test subjects in the Microsoft and University of Illinois study thought the same thing. However, when interviewed after the study, almost every one of them was surprised by how long their distractions lasted.
Most of them thought they were away from their primary task for only a minute or two, when in fact, they were away from it for three to five times longer than they thought.
Even if you ignore your notifications, leaving them for later, they’re still a distraction. If you don’t click, the distraction still breaks your focus and interrupts your work. Which means it will take longer to complete that task.
A study on people’s work habits conducted by RescueTime said the average person couldn’t go six minutes without checking some sort of communication platform.
Once you add in other forms of distractions and 40% of people, never get more than 30 minutes of uninterrupted work time per day.
How does this apply to your design business? We live in a world of communication overload. I’m sure that like me, you’re bombarded with messages and notifications every day. But what y