Redefine for yourself what is urgent. "There's the truly urgent, and then there's everything else," Rabbi Shmuley says. "Urgent things, of course, need to be responded to immediately, but not everything is urgent."
For example, if you're having dinner with your children, that should be your main priority. Turn your phone off and let the house phone ring, Rabbi Shmuley says. If your co-worker is making a presentation, pay attention to what she's saying. "She'll be happier and more confident knowing that everyone cares about what she says, and you may even learn a thing or two," Rabbi Shmuley says.
Take your mind off what you're missing, Rabbi Shmuley says. "We all act as though the next e-mail that might come in is the one that will change our life—we all know how rarely that happens," he says. Try to limit how many times a day you reach for your PDA when you're focusing on another task. "Pay full attention when a co-worker is talking to you, and don't reach for the [computer] mouse to check your e-mails," Rabbi Shmuley says.
Practice makes perfect—so make it a priority to practice. Rabbi Shmuley suggests using an egg timer or stopwatch to see how long you can stay on one task. Give yourself 30 distraction-free minutes to finish that great presentation, and make sure to let the phone ring and let e-mails go for a little while. "You'll be amazed at how much more creative and calm you will feel when you focus on just one thing at a time," he says. How to deal with interruptions in the workplace
Printed from Oprah.com on
© 2014 OWN, LLC. All Rights Reserved.