Getting back on trackGetting back on track can be challenging when you’re interrupted by someone or something.  Interruptions can cause you to become distracted. Then it takes some time to figure out where you left off.

Have you ever had one of those days that started out good, and then one significant, top priority task popped up that totally derailed your whole day? I did, just the other day.

The day started out on track. I prepared for my day as I usually do with my list of tasks and started checking them off as I completed them. Mornings are a good time for me to knock out tasks that require exceptional brainpower. The task that I began working on needed my creative genius and needed to be done that day. Then the little envelope popped up in the lower right corner of my screen.

Outlook users know what I mean. The icon that indicates I have mail. It also shows who it’s from. I know what you’re thinking, ‘turn off that alert to eliminate that distraction’. This is good advice. However, I keep this alert on so I won’t miss an important email that I may be waiting for. Typically, when this alert sounds, and I see who it’s from, if it’s something I can do later, I just keep on doing what I’m doing, it doesn’t bother me. This email however, was important and I had to stop what I was doing and respond, so I did. My response required some investigation that took up a significant amount of time and stressed me out a bit. Then I found it difficult to get my mind refocused on what I was doing before I got the email message.

According to Basex, an IT research and consulting firm, “The time spent per day being interrupted and trying to refocus is 2.1 hours.” Ouch! It’s a wonder we get anything done, ever. We all have the issue of distractions, typically on a daily basis just like the statistic above states.

There are numerous ways to keep from being distracted, but this post is about how to recover from a distraction, or getting back on track afterwards. How you get back to the task at hand is going to differ for each one of us, however, there is a common factor for all of us and that is to get away from the source of the distraction, to clear our minds, and to refocus our attention. Here are some things to consider:

• Get some fresh air by taking a walk

• Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths

• Meditate

• Do some stretching exercises

• Make a grocery list

• Call a friend

You know yourself better than anyone, so figure out what works for you and then do it so you can get yourself back on track. I would to hear what you do to get back on track.