There’s one tip everyone should know about when it comes to increasing your productivity. It is the one tip that will help you take big steps and do everything you want to do both faster and easier. What is this golden tip you may be asking? Increase your focus by eliminating distractions.
Increasing productivity by decreasing distractions
This one tip to increase focus might seem too simple at first, but can change everything. All other tips and tricks out there about improving your productivity stand or fall on the amount of focus you have. The biggest killer of focus? Your phone, mailbox and that big pile of dishes that’s waiting for you on the counter. In other words: distractions.
Distractions are disastrous for your productivity
If you think ‘quickly responding to an e-mail’ is truly ‘quick’ or if you think glaring at a new message on your phone for five seconds just takes five seconds, you’re wrong. Very wrong.
You’re not only wasting time, but also brain capacity. When you switch attention from one thing to another, your brain capacity is split in two. You’re both sending an e-mail (for example) as well as still processing the task you were doing before. This makes you less sharp, slower and will make you feel more stressed. ‘Quickly’ checking your phone suddenly sounds a lot less tempting, doesn’t it?
Focus time blocking
A Micro Habit that can increase both your focus and productivity is working with regular focus time blocks. Every morning, for example, to really start the day off right. Even if you plan only one or two of these hours every day: it can make a big difference. Chances are that when you’re fully focused for an hour, you get more work done than when you work three hours with less focus. Keep the following in mind when you’re planning focus time blocks:
- Set a timer. It’s nice knowing you don’t have to keep an eye on the clock yourself (distraction!), and work full-focus knowing that you’ll hear your alarm when the hour is over.
- Make sure the chances of you getting distracted are minimal. Again: this is crucial to keep your focus. Put your phone on silent mode and turn the screen down. Also turn off notifications on the laptop and look around the room to check if there’s anything around you that could distract you to ‘quickly do something in between’.
- It is very difficult to work full focus when you feel like you are lacking energy. Schedule your focus time block when it works for you. You don’t have to do it in the morning if you’re not a morning person. And if, before you start your focus hour, you still feel like you won’t be able to make the most out of it: go outside. Either go for a short walk or exercise a bit. Eat some fruit. It can help a lot. If you’re working with colleagues: suggest working full focus for an hour with the whole team. Want to make the most out of it? Get everyone to do an energizer beforehand. You got this!