The Power of DO NOT DISTURB for Ultimate Productivity

I know I’m not alone when I say there are countless distractions around us every single day, none more than when we’re sitting at our desk at the start of each day, with a list of to-dos beckoning us, while others wait for us to respond to an email, a phone call, a text or a knock on the door.

It starts with good intention

As I was in my office earlier this week, going through a significant and unexpected transition in one of my businesses, I found myself wanting some quiet time to get through the requests that had accumulated over the weekend and were moved to the “to-be-completed” list for this week.

As I settled at my desk, instrumental music playing in the background, the sun casting a warm glow onto my desk, I felt like I was going to get through it all. I trusted that I was going to check off the most significant priorities and even get through some of the smaller tasks.

And then it started.

The phone rang. It was my lawyer. I knew I’d better pick up the call and deal with what she needed immediately.

As I hung up the phone, I had to send her the documentation she needed for a contract that needed to be signed, scanned and emailed to her.

With that task now completed, and email open on my desktop, I quickly glanced over the unread messages and decided I’d spend a couple of minutes responding to the ones that needed immediate attention.

Thirty-five minutes later, with the soft and calming music playing in the background and the sun having shifted away from my desk, I once again settled in to get through the list of to-dos.

Knock on the door. “Hey, do you have a minute to look this over?”

I held back the sigh, smiled. “Sure.”

Another twenty minutes went by, and I felt myself starting to feel frustrated that a full hour was consumed and I hadn’t started working on my biggest priorities.

I’m sure you’ve experienced this before, probably daily too. So, what are we to do?

Implementing “DO NOT DISTURB”

As I write this, I have a DO NOT DISTURB sign on my office door. I have put my phone on DO NOT DISTURB, and I have shut down all notifications on my desktop.

Peace and quiet!

Just knowing that I wouldn’t be interrupted provided me with a sense of peace and calm that felt great. And it allowed me to breeze through the priorities that I had to get done.

I know this is a simple fix and one that seems so obvious. But aren’t people supposed to know that we have work to do and we need time to focus, uninterrupted and without the expectation of being immediately available?

Sounds simple, I know, and something we should all be doing regularly. But how many of us do it? We’re so accustomed to being accessible and available that we don’t regularly shut ourselves off from the rest of the world for lengths of time.

Making “DO NOT DISTURB” a Daily Practice

What if we adopted a DO NOT DISTURB daily practice for ourselves and our team members, our children, and our relatives?

Every single day, turn everything off and make yourself inaccessible to the outside world or anyone in it for a duration of time. What could that do for your productivity? Your stress levels? Your connection to your own self?

I’m going to adopt the DO NOT DISTURB daily practice starting with one hour and two-hour blocks. I’ll report back on how it’s working for me, my teams and my family. I’m sure there will be a few things we learn along the way that will be quite insightful.

What about you? Do you have a daily DO NOT DISTURB practice?

What have you implemented that has worked for you in your business and your life? I would love to hear!

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