Finding your sweet spot

Photo courtesy of Devon Christopher Adams (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Devon Christopher Adams (Creative Commons)

When I was little and my daddy taught me how to play tennis, I remember him telling me about the sweet spot on the racket – how if I was able to hit there, I would have more control over the ball, and could better direct where it went on the court.

I’m searching now to find the sweet spot in my work routine because lately it feels like I’m either swinging and missing the ball or whacking it all over the court!

The nature of my work is interruptions – retail management has that drawback. But there are some things that I do that require concentration – staff scheduling, sales reports, reviews of processing and promotions – and finding blocks of time to focus on these things can be difficult.

One way to counteract the disjointedness of my day is to get back to basics. I am starting my planning the day before – jotting down the 3-4 most critical things I need to accomplish before I leave for the day, and leaving any materials related to those projects or tasks front and center on my desk. That way, no matter what hits me as I walk in the door, I have those reminders of what I need to accomplish. That also serves to bring me back to the critical tasks when I get pulled away during the day.

The other part of the equation has been more difficult to resolve and I’m still working to find a solution. That block of uninterrupted time seems to be elusive – I’ve tried blocking time first thing in the morning, closing my door, making an appointment on my calendar, working offsite, all the things you read about in productivity books and blogs.

So far, none of those options has worked.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to jot down my list each afternoon, because at least that keeps me grounded. And I’ll keep swinging in search of that sweet spot that means productive work time!