A colleague dropping by your desk, an unexpected Slack, a text ping, a message notification; workplace interruptions are the bain of productivity.

A UC Irvine study showed that, on average, we are interrupted every 11 minutes, and it takes an average of 25 minutes to get back on track. These constant distractions not only destroy productivity, they cause stress, fatigue, and job dissatisfaction.

What’s the solution? How can you gain focus in a distracted world?

More and more of us are sharpening our time management techniques and turning to our calendars for help. By defining and scheduling focus times, you can regain control over your time.

Here are four easy steps to take:

  1. Understand where disruptive notifications are coming from.  Slack, texts, social network, email – all of these apps and tools have automatic notification features resulting in an onslaught of pings throughout the day. Go into each of these and learn how to turn OFF the automatic notifications.
  2. Group to-do’s into specific project buckets and group ‘like’ items together. For instance, all writing items go into a writing ‘bucket’, all scheduling items go into a scheduling bucket, and so on. Bucketing like items minimizes task-switching and will help you stay focused on the task at-hand.
  3. Use your calendar to schedule ‘focus time’ to work on each bucket of items.  This is often called “time blocking” – setting aside specific blocks of time to work on specific projects. Time blocking helps you proactively plan and manage your time. Instead of scheduling interruptions, i.e., meetings, with time blocking you are scheduling focus time.
  4. When you begin a focus work block, turn OFF all notifications. Give yourself the gift of uninterrupted time to focus.

Make time blocking easy with a smart, collaborative calendar like Woven. With Woven you can create Smart Templates for each of your project blocks and easily schedule these throughout your work week. With Woven Scheduling Links you can schedule faster and eliminate email back and forth.

Turn to Woven today to gain focus and build productivity.

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