Oh No, Not Another Interuption, How To Deal With Everyday Distractions

Every day I find junk mail waiting for me, whether it is snail mail or email. Unless I deal with it immediately, I will be faced with piles of unwanted paper, or a full inbox, which just distracts me. It can be very frustrating trying to find something which is buried in a drawer or hidden under a pile of papers. Not only is this distracting but it also takes time and can lead to added stress. Every time you look at a pile of untidy papers you may just notice yourself sighing and notice, too, how your energy is diverted into feeling guilty about one more task not yet done.

Clear away the clutter - anything that will distract you, anything that takes up space, either physically or mentally. Examples include:

an untidy desk or car
a pile of unpaid bills
a disorganised wardrobe
unwanted gifts

What takes away your time and energy? Examples include: chatting on the phone or round the coffee machine friends dropping round unannounced on a regular basis relationships not working searching for things that you can't remember where you left

Just as we put sunscreen on us to protect against the harmful rays of the sun, we sometimes need to protect ourselves from people, places and things. Prevention is better than cure! You can't stop other people from being negative or living their lives from one drama to another, but you can stop yourself from being sucked in by them.

Dawn had reached the point when all she wanted to do was hand her notice in at work. As she was so behind with her work, she logged on to her computer at home, after she had put her children to bed. So much for trying to combine motherhood with work - it just didn't seem to be working. During the day, her team continually interrupted her when she was about to start on her work, with questions she felt that they really ought to know the answer to. "Why can't they work it out for themselves?" she said.

She realised that she had fallen into the trap, as so many managers do, of sorting out the problems for her team without encouraging them to come up with their own answers first. She would ask them to leave it with her. And of course, that was a monkey off their backs and one more on to hers. No wonder she felt stressed most of the time at work.

So she did two things to combat the problem. She increased the number of one-to-ones with her staff, and used the time to talk through her team's workload and some of the issues they were facing. For the first time in a long time her team took responsibility for their own work. Second, instead of inviting them to leave problems with her, she either asked them to come back with their own ideas, e.g. a draft of a letter, or suggested that she would meet with them later in the day, by which time they had normally sorted things out for themselves.

Dawn recognised that her role as a team manager had not always been as clear as it might have been. She thought she was supporting them by doing their work for them. "I thought I was in control but nothing was further from the truth. I hadn't realised how much the regular interruptions and my poor time management contributed to stress." Her team, although shocked at first, started to thrive. They started to feel more confident in their own abilities to solve problems, and Dawn was always there when they needed support. She also seemed to be a lot less short tempered with them, which they appreciated.

In reducing interruptions from her team, Dawn was setting stronger personal boundaries.

You can choose how you react or respond to others. You may find yourself reacting in the moment then spending the next two days feeling awful that you snapped at someone. All that time you are occupied with these thoughts and you could be doing something about reducing the stress in your life. Think before you act even if it just for 30 seconds.

Emotions may get the better of you on occasion, if they do you can stop things from escalating and causing more stress.

Most of us find it is hard enough to change ourselves. It is even more difficult to change others. So if you find yourself stressed by the actions of others, change how you react, rather than expecting others to change.

As you change, watch others change around you!

Carolyn Matheson is a nationally recognized Coach, Speaker and Author of "Yes to Less Stress."

Carolyn is a Master Certified Coach, and works with executives and their teams across the world. She has pioneered an innovative approach to coaching, combining many years of high performance coaching with a holistic approach to work/life balance and has coached hundreds of leaders and their teams. Her experience as a presenter, both nationally and internationally, spans 20 years, with clients currently in Europe, Australia, the Middle and Far East, and the USA.

Her new book, Yes to Less Stress is available online at her website, http://www.areustressed.com

In The News:


Five Simple Tips to Get Organized Today!

Take time to declutter this summer...Writing can certainly consume the... Read More

New Business? Changing Careers? Youve Got a Whole New Ball Game

When you embark on a life transition, the skills that... Read More

5 Steps From Clutter To Control

Are you overwhelmed by clutter wherever you turn? Here are... Read More

Making Life Easier, with NLP Chunking!

You know, in psychology there is a rule, especially within... Read More

How Long Do I Need to Keep This? - A Guide to Receipts, Statements and Financial Clutter at Home

In most homes, paper causes clutter. And it seems to... Read More

Organization and the Opposite Sex

In many of the companies I have worked in, there... Read More

Change the Way You Think and Change Your Life

Dennis is working as a factory worker during the day... Read More

A Personal Action Plan for Change

There are eight distinct steps to constructing and executing an... Read More

Essential Tips for the Kitchen

* Cupboards and drawers should contain items that are grouped... Read More

9 Simple Strategies for Home Organization

Home organization means being able to find your stuff when... Read More

Oh No, Not Another Interuption, How To Deal With Everyday Distractions

Every day I find junk mail waiting for me, whether... Read More

Getting Things Done: A Guide To Next-Action Lists

Getting Things Done (GTD), is a productivity methodology designed by... Read More

The Natural Law of Attrition

I'm cheap and proud of it.I use and re-use things... Read More

Clutter-Clearing and Your Authentic Self

Have you ever felt so discouraged, your life so out-of-control,... Read More

The Clutter Factor: From Packrativity to Productivity

? Are you embarrassed when you walk into your home... Read More

Declutter Your Home in 11 Easy Steps

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of organizing your home? Start... Read More

10 Minute Tricks to Help You Get Organized

Whoever thought you'd be able to get organized in just... Read More

Overcoming E-mail Overload Using Microsoft Outlook

Do you feel like you just get too much e-mail?... Read More

Everything Fits Together Perfectly!

Here's a little lesson I experienced while packing boxes for... Read More

7 Little Things That You Can Do to Organize the Kids Rooms

1. Sink to their level. Get on your knees in... Read More

3 Simple Filing Guidelines

One of the most basic ways to find papers when... Read More

Tossing and Turning

"The real question is, why do you want it? What... Read More

Keep, Get Rid Of, Or Not Sure?

Cleaning out can seem overwhelming -- especially if it's been... Read More

Digging out of Paper Clutter - part 2

We previously noted that papers must be sorted before they... Read More

Organizing - Time is of the Essence!

What does "time" have to do with getting organized? Everything!... Read More