You’re working twice as hard to
make half as much in this down
economy—and it doesn’t look
like it will improve soon.
ou need to retain your
current clients, expand
your markets, create
or update your mate-
rials, write blogs and so
on. Yet your productivity is
constantly interrupted by the
blaring of phones and beeping of emails
and other digital wonders. In your push
to be profitable, you’re flirting with
exhaustion and stress.
Before you demand more hours in
the day, look at the irritating number of
digital distractions you handle—a significant barrier to your productivity and
profitability. They’re triggered by the
Technology Demon, a mysterious force
that swirls around you to interrupt your
flow of mental energy.
You’re likely plagued by digital distractions for four reasons.
First, today’s culture of information
overload poses an unrealistic expectation of being available on a 24/7 basis.
And within every work setting is an
unrelenting flow of emails and seductive forays on the Internet.
Second, if you’re a professional
speaker who works at home, you face
additional challenges. Although you
enjoy the comfort of working in your
sweats, you might find it hard to stick
to a schedule, create a work-friendly
environment, and ignore others’
demands for your time.
Third, although your varied responsibilities call for a well-rounded set of
skills, you might prefer interacting
with others rather than on focusing
on mundane details—keeping records,
paying bills, sending out invoices, to
name a few. Chances are you’ve developed your presentation skills, but have
no formal training in accounting, marketing, writing, advertising or computer
skills. Having a low interest in such
tasks, it’s easy to escape the drudgery
through digital distractions.
Many people in business feel overwhelmed with the need to respond to
the 100 or more emails they receive
each day. Not a surprise. Estimates indicate that 294 billion emails are sent
each day, with about 75 percent of that
number considered spam, according to
research by the Radicati Group in 2011.
Are you among those who feel acute
pressure and shame when you can’t
keep up with the barrage of messages
you receive? If so, it’s critical to adopt a
few strategies and stop the deluge of
useless email so you can focus on only
the necessary ones.
Estimate the amount of time you devote
to email each day. Then reduce that
amount by 10 percent and calculate
how much time you’d gain for relaxing
or exercising or doing other tasks.