How to Focus and Maximize Productivity

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A few distractions can compromise your workload during a day. So what do you have to do so that you won’t end up losing valuable time? Many people believe that productively multitasking by working not only on the laptop but also on the Smartphone or on the tablet. The fact remains that productivity and multitasking don’t really go hand in hand all that well. You will remain distracted and this will translate into not being able to maximize your productivity. In my opinion, single-minded focus is the way to go. There, I said it!

Distractions such as texts from other employees or the so-called urgent e-mail that come from clients are already time-consuming. Maybe you weren’t aware that, in order for your brain to refocus, it takes up to 28 minutes after you were interrupted. It seems a bit scary if you think about it – 2 minutes of distractions translates into a half an hour gone down the drain. With a simple math calculus we can thus state that 8 little distractions result in half a day wasted. Here are 5 ways that will help you get your productivity to the highest mountain tops and none of them involve even a little bit of email or multitasking.

1. Before actually starting the workday, set some expectations for yourself. It’s not really all that hard to drift off into social media, cleaning your inbox or playing a mindless game. This usually happens when you’re not really all that sure what steps you should take next so that you can continue your work. Make sure you update your task list on a daily or regular basis and assign each item on the list with a few steps that will ensure the completion of the task. By doing this, you are actually not watching the paint dry on the wall while finding the best solution to take during the next steps. Moreover, you will definitely see an exponential boost in your productivity.

2. Setting expectations for others is exponential. Nowadays, every entrepreneur says their door is always open, but this will most definitely backfire on you. Business leaders teach managers how to treat employees. For example, if your family, friends, employees always receive a favorable response when they’re interrupting you, they’ll do it continuously, thus making you lose precious time and money. Both you and your business deserve better. The open door policy can still be in effect but create specific times for it. Self-employment doesn’t really mean that you are free as a bird seven days a week or 365 days a year.

3. Multitasking is just a technique that allows you to stall or delay doing a task. It is common-knowledge that when you are uncertain about the direction a task has to take or you are unhappy to take on a new task, you might think that the best way to start is by having a break. You even try to convince yourself that a client needs an answer right away or you don’t want to create dissatisfaction among your employees if you don’t have enough time for them. You still try to convince yourself but you know that’s not really the case. That is why many of your tasks remain uncompleted; you jump from one task to another just because you are avoiding a certain situation. You should ask yourself why you are doing this. Once you know the answers to that question you are now able to take actions that will ensure a higher degree of productivity.

4. Notifications can sometimes prove to be the biggest distractions. When you’re working on your computer, make sure all the unnecessary windows are closed. Ensure that the social media notifications and the email are turned off. Only a handful of things can’t wait for a couple of hours. While it may feel good to feel needed, feeling successful is way better.

5. Using a timer will prove essential. According to recent studies, the human brain can intently focus on a task for up to an hour or two at a time. Just imagine how much you could actually get done in two full hours. I’ve seen my fair share of people that applied all these little tricks and, surprisingly or not, they got more things done in one day than in a whole week. You just need to use the old-fashioned timer and set it for one hour. Work for an hour and then stop. Set it again for five minutes and then take a break; go and stretch your legs or enjoy the view outside. However, take the timer with you so that you won’t find yourself wandering off for a couple of hours of getting stuck in pointless conversations. When productivity is concerned, the timer is king. Now set one more uninterrupted hour of work and see what happens!

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