I am often distracted. It is mainly due to the nature of my work. As a rule, the marketing industry has an exceptionally wide range of tasks. I even heard a saying „If you don’t know who is going to do something, let the marketing department do it.” As a result, each day is different and often unpredictable. At least I am never bored. However, it is also a disadvantage – my priorities have to change often.
Data collection consisted in writing down each interruption at work and its source. I used Keep notebook. Pretty soon I noticed some patterns. Firstly, I am distracted by phone calls. At work I often contact my colleagues by phone. These conversations interrupt my flow and, worst of all, they are a source of new tasks. Secondly, I can’t help but read new emails as soon as they arrive in my mailbox. Those messages often require immediate action, which distracts me from the work I have already started. Thirdly, it happens to me that I am distracted by music heard on the radio, because I want to check some data about the artist.
I wanted to show that the course of things is never perfect. There are always some obstacles or distractions. Some smaller, some bigger. The key is to accept that such interruptions will arise and treat them as challenges.
Klaudia’s postcard presents the daily distractions in an interesting way and how they impact the quality of work. I think that for me there would be much less deep work and more shallow work.
Being focused as much as possible is my daily struggle. Sometimes I’m happy with what I achieve without being distracted too much. Sometimes there are days when a lot of time passes through my fingers.
For several years I have been testing various methods to focus more deeply. What helps me the most is weekly and quarterly planning, time-blocking my time, using Trello and apps blocking social media and websites. I also regularly listen to productivity podcasts to keep my motivation high.
I feel that my ability to focus gets better every week and every month, but this process is all about highs and lows. And I have the feeling that this battle will never end.
For the whole week I had an open notebook in front of my monitor. I noted down moments of distraction, i.e. a ringing phone, a new message from colleagues or my thoughts wandering to somewhere else.
In the end I decided to use only Monday data. This day was terrible in terms of distractions and I hope it will not repeat often. Even though I worked 12 hours, I ended the day in a bad mood.
Distraction makes me think of a scratch, an obstacle. I knew exactly how I was going to draw this postcard. I knew there would be a series of cracks on my „Monday timeline”.
I have additionally marked sections of deep work, relatively free from distractions (in deep green).
Jakub’s postcard accurately shows how we have to deal with urgent distractions every day and that it is impossible to just avoid them without changing plans 😉 No day is as simple as we plan it.