Find yourself falling short of your true productivity potential each workday? Do you start the day with a big coffee and a long checklist of things to do, only to find that most of these still don’t get done at the end of the day despite the fact that you stayed at your desk and didn’t move? You’re not alone and it isn’t your fault.
From my point of view, it’s all about blocking out the overabundance of distractions that get in the way. We have more distractions today than ever before.
Think about the world as it existed 20 years ago. The only ways to procrastinate while online were Solitaire and Minesweeper. Now, we’re faced with Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, news websites, push notifications, tons of phone games, Google Hangouts, Slack, text messages, RSS readers with a constant flow of new content, and so much more.
How can we block this all out without feeling like we’re missing out on the rest of the world? Thankfully, it isn’t as hard as it might seem. It’s all about committing to a few great habits that’ll bring your workday to the next level. The three tactics I’m about to share will help to block out the noise in a truly meaningful way. And I promise you it won’t feel like you’re living in the Stone Age.
Here are 3 productivity hacks that can truly help you get more done in your workday.
1. 15 minutes of immediate work right after you get to work — no distractions
This is something I’ve been doing for the last few years and I can’t say enough about what a difference it makes.
When you get to work, you probably check emails, the news, your Slack channels, or all of the notifications on your phone. Don’t do this! Instead, commit to spending 15 minutes working on any task for the day. Bonus points if you choose your most difficult task — the one you’ve been putting off.
This will start your day on a productive note and has an amazing impact on your mindset for the rest of the day. And chances are you’ll end up working on that task for longer than 15 minutes.
2. The Pomodoro Technique
This one is tried and true and I’m sure you’ve read about it before, but I can’t emphasize it enough.
If you don’t do the Pomodoro Technique or any other similar tactic, you’re selling your workday short. It’s brilliantly simple in that once that timer starts, you’re committing yourself to 25 minutes of productivity and nothing else. Then, you get your 5-minute break.
Those 25 minutes of pure focus can go such a long way, especially when you do a few consecutive rounds of these. There are a ton of timers online and here’s one that I typically use.
3. Use the OneTab browser extension
Just the sheer presence of tabs in your browser can act as a distraction. Seeing those icons does nothing but make your mind wander and it draws you back to those news articles, your RSS reader, and your social media accounts.
There’s a time and place for all of that stuff and OneTab can save those tabs so that they’re easily accessible when that time comes. They have no business capturing your attention while you’re working.
Sure, these tips have been mentioned in other forms online, but all three of them tie themselves back to a common theme — when we’re focused on one task, we’re far more productive than we are while multitasking.
This combination of these distraction-free tactics will work wonders for your workday. I dare you to try these things and tell me you weren’t more productive than usual!