We all have days when we feel a little distracted. Or a lot distracted. Whether it’s that phone notification that becomes 10 minutes of scrolling through social media, or it’s that seventh tea break of the day, it gets to the point where distractions affect both the quantity and quality of our work.
If you want to enjoy a productive day without distractions, here are 4 tips that I’ve found effective:
Find your own routine
The internet is a wonderful thing, but if we’re not careful it can make us feel completely inadequate. One minute, we’re reading an article that says, “You’ll only be successful if you get up at 4am”, and within a few clicks we’ll be reading, “People who sleep longer tend to be smarter”. This avalanche of advice means we’re unable to make any changes because we don’t know what to believe!
Do what works for you instead. If you’re an early bird, make sure you’re completing your most important tasks before lunch. Or if you’re lively in the afternoon, plan to be most productive after lunch. (But either way, don’t skip lunch!) Shorter, lighter tasks such as replying to emails can be saved for times when you are more distraction-prone.
Finding a routine based on your natural preferences will make productivity feel like less of a struggle.
Limit your screen time
According to HSE, we should be taking short breaks (5-10 minutes) after 50-60 minutes of continuous screen and/or keyboard use. I’ve seen the benefits of this – if I spend a lunch hour or tea break away from my laptop and phone, I notice a significant difference in my productivity.
Whether it’s doing something work related like tidying your desk, or it’s taking a full-on break, separating your screen time into hourly chunks will help you get more done.
Create tasks in Trello
Trello is like a digital to-do list which enables you to create multiple lists and drag tasks between them. My favourite list is the one I have named, quite simply, “Done”. Dragging tasks into that list makes me feel like the productivity queen.
If you’ve not tried Trello before, I suggest reading Jess Martin’s article Why You Should Use Trello For Damn Near Everything. He does a good job of explaining why it’s so useful.
If I’m working on something that needs some uninterrupted focus, I promise myself a little reward at the end. It’s usually something I’d have anyway, like a cup of tea and a biscuit, but when I know that I need to finish my task before reaching for the biscuit tin, I’m nearly always more productive. That’s power of Foxes Crunch Creams for you!
It’s a wonderful feeling, looking back on the day and knowing that you stuck to the tasks you needed to complete. I hope these 4 tips will help you get there.
Let me know how you get on if you try any of these, or if you have any tips of your own I’d love to hear those too!