Time management Monday: How to be productive with fragmented time

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Killing Time

I work best in big blocks of time. If I can have 4 or 5 uninterrupted hours, I’ll get tons done. But these days life rarely works like that for anyone. Our work time seems to be more and more fragmented. Here’s how to be productive when your time is broken up into tiny bits:

Fit in tasks: Write your to-do list and have an idea of how much time it will take to complete each task. Then when you have 5, 10 or 30 minutes, check your list and see what you can accomplish in that period of time. This will help you be productive and knock out tasks during smaller chunks of time.

Be prepared: For projects, have your game plan mapped out. Think about your project and know what you need to do step by step. As you work through each step of the project, mark it off your list so you always know what the next steps are and where you are in the process. When you have to leave your project for any period of time (whether hours or days), you’ll know where you are in the process when you come back to it. This will allow you to work through your project deliberately, not reactively.

Don’t let interruptions derail you: When you are working on something and are interrupted, whether by a coworker, a scheduled meeting, an unexpected phone call, etc. take a second to make note of what your next action is. Then when you are able to come back, you can see where you left off and what needs to be done next. You’ll be able to pick right up where you left off.

How do you deal with fragmented work time?

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