When you’re in management—and even if you aren’t!—it’s very easy for your day to get away from you. How often have you gone into work filled with plans for the projects you’ll work on and then had your schedule completely hijacked by someone else’s priorities? Or found yourself in “urgent” meetings that are anything but? Your deadlines don’t change so you end up working outside of normal working hours.
You can avoid this by scheduling time for your work. Block time on your calendar for the projects that deserve your attention. When others interrupt, keep good boundaries. Manage their expectations by letting them know when you’ll get back to them. Stay on task. You will be amazed at how much progress you can make by focusing your attention. By the way, it’s focus that determines the progress you can make, not the amount of time you have available. Even if you’re only able to block 20 minutes in your calendar, focused effort during that time will yield significant results.