Did you ever have one of those days where the clock magically turns from 10:15 am to 5:15 pm and you have no idea how that happened? Somewhere between meetings, emails, unexpected visitors and scope creep, you completely lost track of your day and now your head is spinning in disappointment and confusion. You’ve just been sandstormed.
Named after the popular trance techno song of the same name, “Sandstorm” is our Posture term referring to our day being thrown into fast-forward.
The seven-minute song has an iconic repetitive beat that embodies sheer speed and momentum. When Spotify played this song one too many times in a single day, our entire office found ourselves transported throughout the day with no reason behind the rapid passing of time or scattered nature of our brains. That’s when we coined the term: we had been sandstormed.
The song’s name came from the text on the startup screen of the synthesizer used in the song.
So how can you avoid the storm?
Well, first of all, don’t listen to Darude in the office. But the real problem behind an office sandstorm is time management, something we all struggle with. Here are some ways we try to avoid the storm:
Whether we want to admit it or not, our brains are not natural multi-taskers and shifting between tasks and yielding distractions does, in fact, slow us down.
Forbes reports “Changing tasks more than 10 times a day drops your IQ an average of 10 points.”
Make a list and check it twice. In our office we use a phenomenal project management system called Asana. With fun checkboxes, project lists subtasks and all notes and conversations housed in one place, it keeps us on task and all tasks in one place.
Stay conscious of the time. I went through a phase where my mac was set to obnoxiously announce the time every hour on the hour. While it was a creepy robotic voice that was startling to the entire office, it was immensely helpful in giving me a reality check on how long I had spent on a particular task…or how much time I spent avoiding a particular task.
You don’t need to watch the clock to be aware of the time
Track your time
Our agency runs on time as our currency, so it makes sense that we track all of hours as an essential part of our billing system. But it’s easy to rack up three-hours of uncategorized or unbillable time. Treat your own business like you would a client. Maybe no one is pulling those hours for a bill, but at the end of the week you’ll be able to review the data… you’d be surprised how much time you spend answering emails!
How does the Posture team manage time?
“I like to make small lists and accomplish each task one-by-one.”
“I schedule blocks of time for my daily tasks so that way I’m not bouncing around aimlessly between to-do’s.”
“Everything kinda feels important to me, so I try to break it down into three categories: critical non-negotiable (eat, sleep, etc.), critical (the meat of the day), and important (everything else).”
“When it’s time to focus, I throw on headphones and avoid eye contact.”