Minimizing and Eliminating Text Interruptions
Understand this: Communications technology has evolved far faster than we can adapt to in a civil manner. Barbaric behavior and expectation of instant gratification are the result. Few people stop to consider a code of conduct for texting/interrupting. So, out of respect for your own work and sanity, you must respond appropriately in a way that does not get you lost, disrupted and addicted to the distraction cycle. You must unapologetically let people know that instant expectations are unrealistic and reverse the energy and stress. These methods will reveal that texting is no longer a short cut or form of direct access and response whenever they want it with no regard for your work or schedule.
Establish the Cone of Silence. Estimate how much uninterrupted time you need and put your phone on silent in a drawer.
Put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode w/auto responder message.
Allow yourself to finish the task you’re working on. Don’t drop everything to respond right away. Establish a habit of noting where you left off, finishing what you’re doing and then following up. If you note where you were at, you won’t waste as much time returning to that task or project.
Be honest and don’t over commit. Let people know you’re busy, when you can really focus on the task they sent you. Then deliver on your promise. Stop making promise estimates that you rarely meet. You’ll build a negative reputation.
Establish uninterruptable moments. These are rules for yourself that trigger your texting judo mode. Keep an index card to list people and tasks to follow up with.
Batch/block time for your follow ups. Designate your follow up time. This will minimize interruptions and help you keep your word and respond on time.
Don’t be a slave to your phone and text interruptions. Just because you can see your phone doesn’t mean you should be expected to stare at it all day.
If you are indeed in a meeting or in an uninterruptable moment:
Immediately respond with: “ in a meeting” / “driving” / “with a client”
Do not use full sentences and make the response seem like an auto response (see do not disturb mode). This buys you respectable time to finish your work and follow up appropriately and attentively.
Along with the do not disturb mode for the iphone, iOS users can also download an app called Canned and respond quickly with canned messages. Android users can use Tasker, OnX, or settings within their phone (flip it over screen face down for do not disturb), etc.
You can add: “Let me get back to you” / “via email” / “before/after/lunch/my next meeting at 2/when I get to my desk.”
Block response time. Give yourself appropriate time by hovering around certain time blocks like your designated response hours.
Divert the texter to email. I find that there is a unconscious understanding that email is associated with more effort and work and therefore deserves more time. This reduces the expectation and stress level.
Get a text assistant/gatekeeper. When you have processes/mechanisms in place people are more understanding of delays. For example, if you’re a regular 9-5er with a “real” job, people will understand that your busy and things are out of your control. If you’re the boss or a freelancer, they will somehow expect you to find/make the time to their preference (now). By introducing a mechanism/gatekeeper/assistant, you can restore a bit of order and peace to the land.
Frantic, expectant texters can meet your texting assistant.
You can introduce them via an email, repeated in your email signature or a simple text message to the offending texters. “To increase my response time and productivity, my assistant will address all incoming text messages.”
If it’s a new texting contact: “This is Assistant/Fake Assistant Name, I handle his/her texts. Let me see if I can take care of that for you.”
You can have your real assistant do this for you by using a Google voice account rather than your direct phone number.
You can fake this by editing your text signature to “responded via remote assistant.” Or divert blame on an application by saying “responded to via TimeRescue app “ and you may add “available in the app store”
Even if your methods are exposed, they’ll understand you’re trying to save time and be more productive. Stop asking for permission to do this. You’ll never get it. The worst case scenario, you’ll have to ask for forgiveness.
While I don’t completely write off the various investment/funding business models, I do have a larger respect for the art of hustle and the adaptive mindset of the true entrepreneur. I’m a big fan of bootstrapping business models and their success stories of small wins that lead to big victories. Looking at the small things, or the ability to make more of something from next to nothing, is a great exercise to use to help you hone in on the important things. That said, the big challenge is this: if you only had $10 to start a business, what would you do? What would you focus on? How would you go about it?
Read on to see some of our recommendations on how to start a business with little more than lunch money. Be sure to chime in and comment with your own ideas as well. (more…)
It is an often said but poorly understood notion, that many if not most people in your life will try to discourage, devalue and chip away at your self-worth. Due to toxic patterns, poor upbringings, selfish behavior, and other environmental and psychological factors, the masses try to bring you down. While exploring this subject, I took a deeper look at these things, and decided to share my thoughts as to why people do this, what you can do stop them and yourself from , and how to cultivate and nourish your own sense of self-worth.
What does a healthy sense of self worth get you? A solid sense of self worth can go a long way to helping you earn more money at work, improve personal relationships, and reinforce your ability to have enough self respect to say “No, I don’t have to”
A healthy sense of self worth also helps to:
- Identify abuse and toxic patterns in your mind and in your relationships with others.
- Demand more for your time. This may mean more money, more focused attention, more balanced role in a relationship, or just more.
- Empower you with the ability to respectfully decline to do things that you don’t want to do; the power to confidently opt out.