Are you setting out to intentionally win your workday every day, or do you feel like most of your workdays are a complete waste, not getting the things done you had planned because of outside distractions?
I know I have, and sometimes it seems more like the rule than the exception that distractions take too much time out of the workday and keep you from doing your best work. In fact, research shows that you, the typical office worker, get distracted every 11 minutes, and it takes an average of 25 minutes to get back on track after an interruption.
To help minimize distractions and improve your focus at work, I’ve developed a framework that has proved to be an effective way to produce focused and distraction-free work. In other words, helping you do more of your best work and win your workday.
Let’s dive in!
Winning Your Workday Starts In Your Bed
If you want to win your workday by producing your best work, you have to make sure to get a good night’s sleep. Without proper sleep, our brain will not function to its best capacity, and therefore we will be easily distracted and unable to focus on our work.
Having a regular evening routine and getting enough sleep every day is crucial for your ability to function at your best on a continuously high level. Going to bed at around the same hour every night and hitting 6, 7.5, or 9 hours of sleep a night will do wonders for your daily outcome at work.
Introducing WIN Sprints
WIN sprints is a framework I’ve been developing that lets you do your best-focused work on What’s Important Now. Since I started implementing and refining my WIN Sprint sessions, my productivity has increased, and my ability to focus has improved greatly. And, it can do the same for you.
WIN Sprints are your prioritized timeslots to do your most important and best work, not allowing outside distractions to deplete your ability to perform at your highest level. You can have daily WIN Sprints or plan them weekly. It all depends on what you have on your plate.
I’m trying to put in at least one 90-minute WIN Sprint session every day. I usually schedule them in the morning when I’m most energetic and have the bandwidth to focus best and, therefore, produce quality work.
WIN Sprints Are Customizable
Your WIN Sprint sessions can be customizable and fit into any timeframe of your choice. The reason 90-minutes works so well for me is that I usually spend them creating content. And since I’m not the kind of content creator who can flush out an article in 30 minutes, I need more time to get into the flow of things. So if you need 25 minutes to clear an important task, then schedule those 25 minutes. But keep in mind tasks usually take longer than we expect them to. But spending a 25-minute WIN session to go through your emails and getting back to people should be sufficient.
In other words, your WIN Sprints can range from 10 to 90 minutes. It’s all up to you and the size of the important task you’ve got in front of you. The most important thing to win your workday is to schedule WIN Sprints to do uninterrupted and focused work.
Prepare For WINning Your Workday
Before we go further into winning your day with WIN Sprints, let’s make sure you’re set up with as few distractions as possible.
I know it can be challenging to get a full 45 to 90-minutes without having distractions come your way. But, distractions deplete your ability to do your best work, and therefore, you want to eliminate as many of them as you possibly can ahead of time.
According to Professor Gloria Mark of the University of California, Irvine, a typical office worker gets only 11 minutes between each interruption. In comparison, it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption. That math is horrible for your productivity. But there are ways to dismantle most of those distractions if you’re intentional and proactive in your approach.
The Key To Success Lies In Your Preparation
Have you ever thought about how a perfect workday would look like? A day where you’re in the zone, being your most productive, and doing your best work?
Think about it. Envision it. Plan it. Make it a reality.
If you want to win your workday, be productive, and hit your goals, you need to prepare and be intentional about approaching your day. So I suggest you pull out your daily planner and think about how your perfect workday would look like, and then make it into a template.
I’ve got a perfect day template, and even though I’m not nailing it every day, it still serves as a guide that helps me be most productive, it builds momentum, and I’m hitting more of my goals faster.
Implementing WIN Sprints Into Your Workday
Once you’ve decided when’s the best time to do your most focused work, you should schedule your WIN Sprints and block off time on your calendar. Having WIN Sprints scheduled most days, if not every day, during the week will increase your productivity many times because you’re doing it when you’ve got the best mental capacity to do deeply focused work.
To kick off implementing WIN Sprints, I suggest you start by scheduling sessions at least two days the first week. Then, make sure you block the time in your calendar. That way, people with access to your calendar will see you’re occupied. Then, give yourself at least four to six weeks to build the habit of implementing WIN Sprints into your workday. After that, I promise you’ll start WINning more of your workdays!
Go Completely Distraction-Free
The best way to make sure you won’t get distracted doing your WIN Sprints is to let people around your know you’re off the grid within a specific time frame, especially if you’ve planned a longer WIN Sprint session. For example, send an email, either at the end of the workday the day before or as the first thing you do when you kick off your workday, to let your team and boss know about your plan. Let them know they won’t be able to reach you between, say, 9 and 11 am because you’ve got a deadline or an important task you want to be laser-focused on.
But, to do your best work, you also need to make sure you don’t interrupt and distract yourself.
When I started implementing WIN Sprints, it was hard to let go of the impulse checking social media or the news. So to minimize the chance of distracting myself, I’ve turned off most notifications on my phone. I don’t get any on my laptop or desktop either. When I zone in on my WIN Sprints, I place my phone in a drawer across the room and out of immediate reach.
Final Thoughts on WIN Sprints
At first, you might experience some resistance, and you might have to practice doing super-focused work. I know I had to before getting into the habit of focused work. But let me tell you, it’s been worth the effort!
Once you get used to being off the grid and doing your best work, you’ll notice that most of the distractions that used to eat your ability to focus disappears. Most distractions are due to other people’s laziness because, most of the time, it’s easier to ask someone for something rather than figuring it out themselves.
Remember, every time someone distracts or interrupts you with a question or request, it’ll take you 25 minutes to get back on track doing Your important work.
You deserve to shine and to win your workday every day!
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