I was getting ready to start my day this morning when I got tempted to switch out a light bulb.

However, this wasn’t just a simple light bulb. It is one of those fancy Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs that would allow my Alexa system to control one of the lights in my office area.

I picked up the bulb and then realized that what I thought would take just a few minutes was probably going to take a half-hour or more to set up, connect to Alexa, and program to my office home-automation scenes.

This one little task was going to disrupt my morning planning and work session.

I put it the bulb back down on the shelf and went back to my work.

The Little Things That Take You Off Track

This story is an example of a “little task” that I almost picked up that would have taken more time than I estimated, and derailed my morning work session.

It’s these little tasks that will quickly eat up your entire day if you let them.

What you think is going to be a quick side task leads to a rabbit-hole of wasted time. Without discipline, a few of these small diversions can take over hours of your day.

  • That one email you are going to read… only to find yourself 200 messages deep in your inbox.
  • The one website you are going check… which leads to an hour of web surfing.
  • That one thing you are going to do… that takes you away from your work for the rest of the morning.

“Little tasks aren’t always so little… and small distractions can disrupt your entire day.”

So, how do you prevent these small distractions from taking up all your time?

Here are 5 Tips to Prevent Little Tasks from Disrupting Your Entire Day:

  1. Put the Important Things First – Make sure you put your essential tasks first. Prioritizing your work is key. You can’t do everything in a day, so make sure you do the critical work first.
  2. Single-Task – Multitasking may sound great, but it isn’t practical. Rather than accomplishing more, you are likely to end up with many things started and few finished. Stick to one task at a time and do it until it’s done.
  3. Stick to Your List – You have a to-do list to keep track of your work, so stick to it! When you work from your list, you stay on track and won’t wander to unrelated and miscellaneous tasks.
  4. Keep Your Work Area Clutter-Free – Maintaining a clean place to do your work helps your mind from wandering and from you being distracted by other items lying around. This is an instance when “out of sight, out of mind” is your friend.
  5. Tune Out the Distractions – Another great way to prevent yourself from getting interrupted is to eliminate the distractions. This can mean actions like turning off your phone, closing your email app, or perhaps putting on headphones with concentration music.

Let the Little Things Be

You don’t have to pick up every small task that catches your eye. In fact, you need to “let the little things be.”

Stick to the big tasks you need to get done.

The little tasks will still be waiting when you are finished.

Q: How do you prevent small tasks and distractions from interrupting your day? Leave a comment below.

26 thoughts on “5 Tips to Prevent Little Tasks from Disrupting Your Entire Day

  1. Entries like this is why I keep coming to this blog – I need the reminders!
    I have a question though – little tasks need to be done anyway – so when?
    Do you have a slot in the day for them? A morning every week?

  2. Thanks for the listt, I really need to do important things first and only then do less important ones. Blog is fantastic, here I`ve found may userful articles, which assist me in my life. In one of it I`ve discovered this – a review about the advantages of having vpn

  3. I recently bought one of those little visual timers (Time Timer) so that I can go “heads-down” without interruption for a chunk of time. It’s really helped me avoid distractions of little tasks!

  4. Welcome back! I needed this today. I swapped back to a daily planner to help myself stay focused.

    Are there tips for working from home?

  5. Turning off my phone is a big impossible, but I do listen with earpiece whenever I want to focus. The only problem is just when people play their music even louder than they talk, it’s annoying and I can’t put my volume too high since my ear is sensitive. It’s tough sometimes…

  6. Though work from home is kind of good but these little things disturbance is taking a toll on productivity which inturn is making the work hours long.

    Thanks for the tips.

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  8. Great tips, thank you so much for your content, I find it very useful. I am a student, and we are often asked to write various articles and essays, but I do not always have time to write them myself, I think that many students understand me perfectly. But since studying has a supreme priority for me, I recommend everyone to try this out , here I found a lot of useful content for myself, now I have much more free time for other activities, now I can do everything!

  9. I think through these 5 tips mentioned by you, I will definitely be able to save my time thank you wholeheartedly.

  10. This blog post is EXACTLY the redirection I needed – as I was JUST thwarted by a series of tiny tasks that distracted me and sent me down a rabbit hole – again – for the less-productive-than-it-should-have-been day … Thank you – back to work and off the blog posts lol

  11. Great and helpful tips, thank you for sharing! Prioritizing and getting rid of unnecessary multitasking is crucial.

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