Interruptions are one of the biggest causes of lost productivity. They may not seem significant at the time, but they do add up quickly. After following the trail of an interruption, you may be spending many unproductive hours getting back on track. Interruptions derail your day if you’re not vigilant, but the good news is that managing them is well within your control. And increasing awareness about what causes them is the first step in minimizing them.

Action for the Week: Track Your Time

Keep a log of your daily activities in 30 minute increments for at least a week. You’ll discover when interruptions happen, what causes them, and whether they are truly important enough to interrupt you from the task at hand.

Tracking your time will also help you break the habit of “reacting” to events that are not true emergencies so you can focus on more productive activities.