We’re given 24 hours every single day. When the clock strikes midnight, the day resets and we’re given a fresh slate. On average, we have eight hours a day to complete our tasks at work. It seems like a lot of time, but it doesn’t take long for those hours to quickly pass us by.

How many times have you gone into work, focused on a specific goal and before you know it, the end of the day has come and you haven’t even looked at that goal? Sally needed this. Joe needed that. The phone rang and turned into a 40-minute call. Lunch went long. An emergency request comes in. It’s like playing a game of whack-a-mole while they’re on fire. Each one pops their head up at your desk and because it’s important to them, it becomes an emergency to you. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t sign up for this to play at an arcade.

So how the heck do we prevent this? Perfect days may not always exist, but there are awesome strategies you can put into place to prevent those pesky pop-ups.

Time blocks

In the Worx office, we work on time blocks. When we need to put all of our attention on one project, we inform the team via Slack (our internal messaging system we love), turn off our email and go into do not disturb mode. It allows us to focus on the task, dedicate all of our energy to that one client and complete the task while feeling fulfilled. It’s really hard on your brain to switch back and forth between projects all day. Give yourself the time that you and your client deserve.

Do the toughest thing first

This is a hard one. When there’s a daunting task on your plate, we tend to push it off for last. What typically ends up happening is it gets pushed to the next day, or week, or month. It lingers in your brain, taking precious energy away from what you’re currently working on. It’s a little dancing mole on fire that just hangs out with you. Do that task first and be done with it. You’d be surprised how much less time and energy it takes to get it done vs. dreading it for days at a time.

Prioritize

Take a look at your deadlines. What is coming up that needs your attention now? In our office, we have schedules with projected dates for launching websites, brands or campaigns. We have to plan ahead. Prioritize what needs completed first by working backwards. What is the end goal and what do you need to do first to get closer to that goal? What has to be done vs. what will need to be done.

Say no

You may have what we like to call “line jumpers,” people that need something “real quick” right now. When your day is scheduled out and you have goals to meet, inserting these “fire projects” can push back your entire day, which dominos into your week. Building in some flex time for projects like this is healthy. Setting boundaries is too. What constitutes as an “emergency”? Sometimes we assume people want something the same day, when they’re thinking they don’t need it until next week. Ask them when they need it by and then fit it into your schedule. Emergency projects mean different things to everyone.

This month, our focus at worx is TIME. Time pertains to so many areas of our day:

• How we scheduling out our day

• How much time we’re spending on a project and documenting it

• How are we spending our time outside of work

• Quality of time with those around us

Evaluate how you’re spending your time in all areas of your life. How can you gain back some of that time each day to help you be more successful and most of all, feel accomplished and complete? Whack-a-mole is only fun if you’re at the arcade.