MINDFUL LIFE TOOLBOX. A 30-Day Intensive Program

 A 30-Day Intensive Program Time Thief: Interruptions Interruptions v. Distractions What Kinds Of Interruptions & Dist...
Author: Laureen Ray
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A 30-Day Intensive Program

Time Thief: Interruptions

Interruptions v. Distractions

What Kinds Of Interruptions & Distractions Happen 
 At Work? At Home? [GROUP WORK]


Interruptions WORK

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


Some Causes of Distractions Checking your cell phone Watching television Food/Hunger and mindless snacking Worrying Reading non-work stuff while at work Gossip/eavesdropping Reading and sending emails unrelated to your current task Headaches Surfing the Internet Radio/Music Grooming and self-obsession

Some Causes of Interruptions Unexpected external visitors Supervisor/Colleagues Family Ringing phone Work emergencies/crises Email notifications Equipment malfunctions Unpleasant odors Fire drills Sudden ambient noises

How to Avoid/Minimize Interruptions Make time constraints known at the beginning. Utilize voicemail, email & chat strategically. Disable everything that beeps, chirps and chimes. Don’t go online unless necessary. Isolate yourself for concentrated efforts. Schedule meetings outside your office.

Workload Surprise Responses Here is what I have on my plate right now. Please help me prioritize this new task. 

Is there something you can take off my plate so this will not disrupt other deadlines?

May I delegate parts of this assignment? Which parts?

What is the final ship/delivery date?

I have to complete project x and project y before I can begin working on this.

Am I the best person to complete this task?

When I have finished this, may we talk about ways to avoid having this happening again at the last minute?

Time Thief: Poor Planning

To-Do List Buckets q  Work & Productivity

q  Creative Expression

q  Friends & Family

q  Home Repair/Improvement

q  Self-Care

q  Life Maintenance/Errands

q  Self-Development

q  Financial

q  Giving Back/Volunteering q  Medical q  Spiritual Practices

q  Organizing & Simplifying

8 Questions 
 To Help You Prioritize Tasks

Does this have to be done today?

Is it in alignment with my values?

Does this get me closer to a goal?

Can I clearly define the outcome of this task?

Is there something more important to do first?

Do I have everything I need to finish this task today?

Will email help or hinder my progress?

Could I delegate this task?


1) Important/Urgent 2) Value: 1, 2, 3



Urgent Crisis

Immediate Problem Deadline

Not Urgent Prevention Maintenance Planning & Strategy Relationship Building   Thinking and Research

Not Important

Interruptions Some Meetings Some Phone Calls Whims and Tantrums Popular Activities

Trivial Requests Mindless Television Watching Mindless Internet Surfing Games Busywork   Irrelevant Mail & E-mail Gossip

Prioritization #2: Assign Value


Which To-Dos 
 Have Multiple Steps?
 e.g. Reupholster Chairs

SMART Goals Specific Measurable Actionable Realistic Timed

SMART vs. Not-So-Smart “Not–so–smart” goal:

Complete third quarter report.

SMART goal: Begin gathering resources to prepare third quarter report. Friday, 2 Hrs. Make appts. for Saturday to continue working.

Friday, 10 Mins.

Review notes, begin 1st draft of report.

Saturday, 2 Hrs.

Share draft with colleague, then review & get notes.

Saturday, 30-45 Mins.

Revise report.

Saturday, 1-2 Hrs.

Review report, add graphics & complete report.

Saturday, 1-2 Hrs.

Submit report electronically.

Saturday, 10 Mins.

SMART vs. Not-So-Smart “Not–so–smart” goal:

I want to organize my photos.

SMART goal: Gather all photos and bring to one location.

Friday, 1.5 Hrs.

Begin sorting Like With Like according to subject or event.

Saturday, 2 Hrs.

Continue sorting Like With Like.

Sunday, 1.5 Hrs.

Label photos according to subject or event.

Monday, 2.5 Hrs.

Curate “greatest hits” for digital frame & scan images.

Tuesday, 2 Hrs.

Purchase containers that match quantities of photos.

Wednesday, 1.5 Hrs.

Begin containerizing photos according to subject or event.

Thursday, 2 Hrs.

Load digital images onto digital frame.

Friday, 1 Hr.

Task & Project Mgmt Apps Asana – Task Mgmt https://app.asana.com

Basecamp – PM https://basecamp.com/

Breeze – PM http://www.breeze.pm/

Celoxis – PM http://www.celoxis.com/

Comindware – PM http://www.comindware.com/project/

Evernote – Productivity App https://evernote.com/

Jira – Task Mgmt https://www.jira.com

Trello – Task Mgmt https://trello.com/

Wrike – PM http://www.wrike.com/

Comparisons/Reviews: http://online-project-managementreview.toptenreviews.com/


 Alternative Apps: http://alternativeto.net/

To Do Lists: 


To Do Lists: 
 Create Buckets/Lists [INDIVIDUAL WORK]

To Do List: BUCKET/TOPIC A Urgent/Imp 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

NOT Urgent/Imp 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

To Do List: BUCKET/TOPIC A Urgent/Imp 1. 1. 1. 2. 2. 2." 3.

NOT Urgent/Imp 1. 1. 1. 2. 2. 2." 3.

To Do List: BUCKET/TOPIC A Urgent/Imp 1. 1. * 1. 2. * 2. 2." 3.

NOT Urgent/Imp 1. 1. 1. * 2. * 2. * 2." 3.

To Do Lists: Migration To App


1) To Do Lists: Create Buckets
 2) Migrate tasks from old to new lists

3) To Do Lists: Urgent/Impt & NOT Urgent/Impt
 4) Prioritize 1, 2, 3
 5) Which To-Dos Have Multiple Steps? 

* then break down into discrete steps