How to Overcome Interruptions and Distractions and Get Stuff Done

How to Overcome Interruptions and Distractions and Get Stuff Done

How do you stay focused in the middle of the daily drama and complete your most important tasks?

Most construction leaders struggle with distractions and interruptions that stop them from completing their most important tasks.

Let’s say you have a big bid due next Thursday, and you’ve got a week to put your number together. You’ve got a team working on studying the specs and plans, doing the takeoff, getting numbers from subcontractors. You need to block out 2-4 hours to review the estimate, prepare the final bid price, and make sure everything is dialed in to maximize the possibility of submitting the low number.

Your priority is clear. Now it’s time to execute. 

That’s where the problems come in. Interruptions from your direct reports interrupt you. Emails, texts from your kids, and your Twitter feed distract you. How can you stay focused and make sure you execute your priority?

Here are three simple ways that you overcome interruptions and distractions and get stuff done. 

  1. Be Proactive: Before you get to the block of time you’ve set aside, make a list of the people who are in the habit of interrupting you. Let them know that you are setting aside time in your calendar to focus on the bid, and you are not to be interrupted for any reason other than an emergency.
  2. Get Disciplined: During the block of time, turn on your phone’s silent mode and put it in the top drawer of your desk, out of sight. Then, turn off your desktop email notifications. Finally, get your Air Pods, turn on noise cancellation, and select the tunes that help you to focus (As I’m typing this post, I’m listening to Bach).
  3. Become Responsive: After the block of time, get back out into the hurley-burley of the day. Open up communication with your people. Check in and see if they need anything from you.

If you focus on being proactive before, disciplined during, and responsive after the blocks of time you set aside, you will be able to execute your top priorities.

Prioritization and execution are just a couple of the many skills a construction leader must master.

If you’d like to learn more about the art of leadership, click this link and check out Construction Genius, my weekly podcast exclusively for construction leaders.