It may sound obvious when I say to improve your productivity you need to focus. But you may not know what kind of things that are preventing you from improving your productivity and focus. Here are ten things that I think need to be stopped to improve output.
- Stop binge watching.
Sure, streaming services and DVD box sets have made life easier to catch up on programs. But those hours disappear really fast once you start down the path of ‘just one more episode’.
- Stop playing those mobile games.
It is just too irresistible to pick up that phone or tablet for another round of swiping mania. My recommendation is to just remove them, trust me, you will get over it.
- Sleep more.
I know that sounds counter productive, but better sleep means better brain activity. We need sleep to help our brain reset and recover, which naturally leads to better attention and focus. It is all too easy to burn the midnight oil believing you are getting more done in those extra hours.
- Make choices and live with them.
Stop second guessing decisions, this can lead to a stationary position. Trust your inner analytics, you probably made the right choice the first time and should move on to the next thing.
- Pick one and go with it
Similar to number 4. There are so many options when it comes to software and hardware these days that you can become obsessed with always trying ‘the next one’. Find the software or hardware that does what you need and use it. Yes tomorrow will have new options, but that does not mean you have to take them. By the time you learned the new tool you could have made new things with the old one.
- Reduce clutter.
I regularly do a sweep of my desks and offices getting back to a clean efficient work area. I’ll even trash things that I think I’ll never use. I do believe that only having around the things you need means less distraction.
- Brain dump
I learned years ago that making myself notes and lists mean’t not only do I get more of them done, but I can forget about carrying them around in my brain. I use software, notepad and pen. This allows me to always have access to something to write down that thought right there and then. You know those ‘I’ll remember that’ and then 10 minutes later ‘what was it again’ ideas. I often find that I get my best ideas at all the wrong times of day and night, this fixes that problem.
- Trust your process
The chances are that whether you realize it or not you have developed your own processes for doing things. This might of been intentional or just a subconscious thing that happened. Either way, trust them unless you know for sure they are broken.
- Stop Big Tasking
Most people have grand plans, from publishing a blog post to World domination. But most fail because they set the task too big. Breaking things down into smaller steps will help give you that sense of achievement you are looking for, not only will it happen quicker because you are taking tasks in bite size chunks, but you are more likely to complete the task as it will seem less daunting.
- Ship it and move on!
The last one should be thought of as more of a reward for all the hard work. There is nothing better than the relief of shipping. Sometimes that reward can be financial, sometimes peace of mind, but it is always a welcome reward to get that project done and out in the World.
I hope this list gives you ideas for improving your productivity and focus, adopting even just a couple can start you on a path to inner peace and less project panic. I adopt these ideas in all my projects from professional to personal and I believe they have helped me get things done.
How do you go about improving your focus and productivity? Please leave comments and help the rest of us learn from your endeavors.