I make a living as a project manager and therefore I am admittedly biased towards planning. That being said, I firmly believe, and research backs me up, in the mantra, “That which gets planned gets done.” I prefer that over the equally popular, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
There’s a lot of books that talk about the importance of goal setting. While it’s great to have goals, a goal without an actionable plan is just a dream or a wish. Those are names of Disney cruise ships, not strategies for success.
One of the best habits you can adopt to boost your focus is planning your week. Friday afternoon, Sunday night, or Monday morning are ideal times. You just need to decide what works best for you and do it consistently. For the detailed process I use read this previous post.
The same can be said for your social media time. Planning it into your schedule for a set period of time will help you keep it under control. If you know you have planned to check your accounts during lunch for twenty minutes your brain knows you have made space for that. You won’t feel the itch to check it every 15 minutes all morning long. You can use the time limit features the apps and your phone provide as a backstop to your self control.
Another way to turbocharge how much you get done while at work is to schedule your interruptions. Train coworkers, you’ll likely need to post a reminder sign, that you’re only available for questions for the last 15 minutes of any hour. This will cut back on the number of attention killing distractions you get from coworkers.
You can also schedule the times of day you check your email. Three times a day should be sufficient. Any more than that and your allowing you Inbox, meaning the needs of others, to dictate your schedule. If you’re working with your email constantly up on your screen I’ll argue that you’re not actually working at all. You’re just filling time waiting for the next distraction.