The internet is jam-packed with keyboarding cats, skate-boarding llamas and silly quiz that seek to distract you from work. It’s not easy maintaining your productivity, especially if you’re like me and can get distract by bright colors and oddly shaped clouds. Here are the top four ways I found that helps me focus and increase my productivity.
Turn Off All Notifications On Your Phone And Computer
I find these notifications act as a gateway into procrastination. Seeing a message flash up that my lives on Candy Crush has been restored or there is a sale on at my favorite store after five minutes of solid work is always a tempting lure. I mean, I wrote a whole twenty words that had a semblance of cohesion in the last five minutes – don’t I deserve a five-hour break to play with pretty colors? Or spend the money I haven’t earned yet? These notifications are fantastic if you limit them to business use only, like clients or colleagues but a total time sink, if not controlled.
Start The Day With The Most Difficult Tasks
There are certain tasks that I just dread doing and put off. I always used to think doing them first would derail me for the rest of the day, but after a few hours of work, I found my dread for clearing these tasks magnified and the enthusiasm for doing them dwindled. On the advice of a friend I switched my routine to do these tasks first and found my productivity increased. The amount of time I spent procrastinating before starting them lessened and getting them done and dusted early gave me a surge of enthusiasm – to the point where I want to jump up and sing “Ding, dong the filing is dead.” Doing the things you hate first gives you the ability to concentrate on the things you love for the rest of the day.
Organize Your Work Into Small Chunks, And Reward Yourself
Take the time each day to organize all your current projects, especially the bigger ones, into smaller goals. By dividing your projects into goals, it will give you a better organizational structure, a great way to monitor productivity on a project, and a way to meet deadlines. The best bit about having these small goals is there is a surge of accomplishment that drives you forward and helps you accomplish the next one when you complete one. Linking rewards to these goals is a great way to get yourself motivated. Another five of my goals in the next two hours and I’m allowed one of those lives on Candy Crush. Pretty colors…
Switch Things Up
Sometimes productivity flounders just because we are in a rut. The best way to get productive again is get up out of the rut and switching up things up. Try turning the screen off as you type to turn off the inner editor that monitoring and rejecting every word you type, pick up a pen and write old school or even pick up your laptop and change the scenery to the local coffee shop or park. The ambient noise in a coffee shop can help you focus, the fresh air can clear your head, and writing by hand can connect you to different ideas and emotions as it’s a more tactile and freer experience.
The best way to increase productivity is by maintaining a simple routine, having clear and achievable goals and lessening the distractions in your working day. Start thinking of the hours as money or an item you want to buy. Each one wasted is that amount of money item gone.
So, what are your tricks for maintaining productivity? What are the biggest drains on your time? And how do you keep yourself motivated?