A client was a couple of minutes late to our call. He immediately apologized and told me he got caught up in a squeeze-in, he was getting himself a cup of coffee.

We laughed for a moment and then he got real serious. He said "You know, as I was getting the coffee I kept hearing your voice in my head asking me if what I was doing right now what needed to be done or was it a squeeze-in."

On the face of it, he was 2-minutes late to a phone call. Truly not a big deal; however, where else is this happening and what is the result?

Let’s back up for a moment.

A squeeze-in is something you do on your way to doing something else. It’s not what you planned and it causes your plans to shift. It could be grabbing a cup of coffee on your way to making a phone call, stopping at the store to grab a few things before you go to a networking event, handling a couple of emails before you pick up the phone and make your sales calls.

A squeeze-in may seem like nothing, and even the right thing to do. It can derail your entire day.

You get to your office. You have one specific thing that you must do. Just before you start you’ll answer a few emails. An hour has gone by, you’ve answered emails. You have an hour less to work on your project.

You are meeting someone you met at a networking event for lunch. Before you leave your office you make one quick phone call. The call lasts five minutes longer than you expected and now you’re late for lunch and you’re feeling anxious. You’re certainly no longer your best self.

Taken individually a squeeze-in isn’t a problem, but they do add up. Five minutes here, ten minutes there, before you know it your day is gone and you haven’t accomplished what needed to get done in the first place and, depending on what you had planned, your reputation could be at stake as well.

Want to know the best way to avoid squeeze-ins?

It’s simply awareness. As you go through your day take stock and ask yourself if what you are doing is a squeeze-in or what you meant to be doing. If it’s a squeeze-in take a moment to recognize the impact continuing will have on the rest of your day and the people you are interacting with. Then stop, and refocus on what you planned to do.

Oh and if your squeeze-in must get done too, figure out which is more important at that specific moment, do it, and decide when you will do the other thing.

How do "squeeze-ins" impact your business and life?

Author's Bio: 

Carrie Greene is a speaker, author and business coach. She is a business strategist and productivity expert for entrepreneurs. Carrie helps entrepreneurs get clear on what they want and create simple and straight-forward plans to get there. She is the author of "Chaos to Cash: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Eliminating Chaos, Overwhelm and Procrastination So You Can Create Ultimate Profit!" Free resources at http://carriegreenecoaching.com/