We decided earlier that we all want to be more efficient in the pottery studio. Here we will take a look our second step to make the most of our time: minimizing distractions.
(If you missed it, you can read about the first step: Staying Organized.)
For most of us, it is pretty obvious that minimizing distractions will lead to more productive time. But how can we discover what really distracts us? Once we realize what distracts us, what can we do to avoid or minimize them?
Figure Out What Distracts You
What is your biggest distraction? Do you have to look at your phone every time you hear a notification? Do other people interrupt your work? Do your thoughts lead you astray? Do you spend so much time overthinking things that you don’t actually get anything done?
First you have to identify what is distracting you. One way I like to do this is to set a timer for an hour or so. When the timer goes off, I take a couple seconds to reflect on my past hour. Am I still going strong? How many minutes did I spend working? How many minutes did I spend doing something else? I make a note (usually mentally) about what distracted me and for how long. Then I repeat this process.
Decide What to Change to Avoid Distractions
After a couple of these quick breaks I may write down patterns that I notice. When the day is done I can decide what I’ll change for tomorrow. Maybe I’ll turn my phone notifications off. Maybe I’ll tell my family that I’ll spend an hour with them later if they can let me work for an hour straight. Or just rearrange my schedule to work when my family is doing something else and be available when they want to be with me. Maybe if I have a good idea while my hands are covered in clay I’ll tell Google to make a note so I can stay focused on my work. Maybe I’ll just take some quick photos now and spend an hour posting them to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and everywhere else while I’m relaxing after the hands-on work is done.
Don’t feel bad if there are certain distractions you can’t avoid completely. There are probably things in your life that are more important than having a 100% distraction free work day. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about improving what you can. Relationships, health, a visit or call from an amazing customer, etc. You have to balance things properly for yourself and your situation.
Is there a distraction you can minimize? What can you do to minimize it?
Don’t forget, you can download a checklist to help you make the most of your time in the pottery studio. You get it completely free when you sign up for the email list! You can also read the first article in the series to see how I use organization in my studio. In the next article we’ll explore the third step to make the most of your time in the pottery studio, use the best tool for the job.