By Emilia Criscuolo
Working from home has introduced new procrastination opportunities, surrounded by distractions and tasks that were not previously part of our daily lives. Wearing masks outside, navigating traffic in stores, and sanitizing everything we bring into our homes can be tiring and adds new challenges. Meanwhile, it seems our inboxes have exploded with emails and webinar invitations on the latest insurance product changes and carrier updates.
Our personal and professional lives have merged into an endless to-do list. Even when we’re motivated, new distractions creep in and all our tasks take longer to accomplish. This productivity toll limits the ability to fulfill our purpose as financial professionals. After all, clients still have insurance protection and retirement planning needs, and our goal is to successfully provide the right solutions to set them at ease.
Try these three distraction-busting tips to help you build productivity momentum:
- Keep your workspace organized and write out your daily schedule. Keeping your workspace organized and clear of unnecessary items can mitigate the clutter-inducing feeling of being overwhelmed and help keep your mind focused on the task at hand. Try keeping your space the way you would want it for client meetings.
The habit of writing a daily schedule is especially important during these stressful times. Finding balance between your clients, friends and family is key. Be sure to schedule your work day, as well as breaks, friend and family time, and free time. This provides accountability to your clients, as well as your friends and family. Remember to be good to yourself by not making your schedule too tight!
Another organization idea is to manage email by using Mary Kelly’s D.I.C.E. method. Collaborate with teammates for email efficiency by asking them to add one of these action words to the subject line, which tells you what needs to be done with the email message and simplifies sorting:
D = Decide
I = Information
E = Execute
Add this note in your signature line:
Please help me stay organized by using the D.I.C.E.method.
Include one of these action words in the subject line: D = Decide I = Information C= Coordinate E = Execute
- Limit screen time. It seems that we are constantly staring at screens and monitors while we are at home. Too much screen time is actually dangerous for our health; when reduced, it may help improve your focus among other benefits. Client availability and responsiveness are important, and sometimes a quick phone conversation can be more efficient and reduce time online.
- Schedule time for yourself. Your mind and body are valuable and need nourishing. Treat yourself with a 15-minute break from your screens and your to-do list.
A walk is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress and clear your mind. Walking also increases heart and lung fitness, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, reduces body fat, strengthens bones, increases muscle strength and decreases joint and muscle pain. Read about it in 30 Reasons Walking is the Best Exercise. And if you need to feel more productive while walking, you can always listen to a podcast or educational webinar!
If you’re inclined, try a 10-minute meditation. Quiet time in a meditative state may help calm and re-center you, leading to a productivity boost. Try it here.
It’s often the little things that affect our ability to achieve our daily professional and personal goals. The key is to remind yourself it may not always be possible to completely remove distractions from the work day, but trying these three steps may help guide your journey on the path to achieving positive results.
Emilia Criscuolo is an events planning coordinator, marketing communications, with Crump Life Insurance. Emilia may be contacted at [email protected].
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