We all have that one friend that always seems to get more done, even though they’re working with the same 24 hour day as everybody else.
How do they do it? In short, good habits that increase focus and productivity.
But if you have a side hustle or just a demanding main gig, sometimes it feels like those 24 hours are not enough. But there’s hope.
If you can find little ways to crank up your productivity, then you can do more, work smarter, and be more successful.
How to Do More in Less Time…Focus!
Here are my five favorite tips for being more productive – by strengthening your ability to focus – whether it’s your main gig or your side hustle.
No Phone, No Distractions
The biggest source of distraction these days has to be our “smart” phones. You may not know, though, that it’s best to put your phone completely away when you’re working. If it’s not on your desk, you won’t be jolted out of your workflow by a notification or be tempted to check your social media.
Speaking of notifications, just turn them off. You don’t need to know the second your grandma sends you a chain email or posts a picture of her Pomeranian on Instagram.
Speaking of Email…
These days, many people think you have nothing else to do but reply to emails, so they can get testy if you don’t respond quickly. This doesn’t mean you have to, though. It’s perfectly reasonable to take a couple hours to respond.
Instead of being at the beck and call of your inbox, close your email program or browser window so you can focus on the task at hand. Set aside time to respond to emails, but only do it during your designated times, period. That way you’re also guaranteed to send a thoughtful reply instead of dashing off a quick response that helps nobody.
Automation: It’s not just for factories!
You know you don’t have to do everything yourself, right?
Do you find yourself sending the same (or super similar) email all the time? Make a template! You can change little details like the recipient’s name. Gmail also has a feature called Canned Responses that helps you save your email templates.
Live by the Clock
The key to getting more done is to schedule the heck out of your time.
Position a clock on your desk so you can see it – but don’t use your phone’s clock (we put that thing away, remember?!), and then set yourself time limits for tasks.
For example, schedule fifteen minutes to answer emails instead of setting a goal like, “Answer three emails.”
Don’t forget to schedule breaks, too! Give yourself a little break at regular intervals so that you don’t get overwhelmed or lose focus.
Track Your Progress
You don’t know if something is working unless you measure it, right? So measure your time.
Write down a detailed schedule in your planner or journal or even some random notebook, but write it down. Keep it by you all day to refer to, and then take notes on it.
Mark down when you took less time to do something, skipped something, or otherwise deviated from your schedule. Look at this before you make your next schedule to see where you can tweak things.
Some of you have been bristling all through this list – protesting that this sounds like a lot of effort and will generate more work. That’s not true, though.
What we’re striving for is efficiency.
When you can focus your energy, you can get done with your work faster. And that means you’ll have more time for purely fun things like cooking a wonderful meal or playing your favorite sport.
Remember, the key to working less is working more efficiently!
Unfortunately, we all have [hidden] habits that steal our focus and suck our productivity dry. And most people don’t even notice them.
The worst part is, many of these habits are meant to increase our efficiency and effectiveness — but they do just the opposite.
The good news…
When you identify these behaviors and change them, productivity grows exponentially.
This is why I don’t want you to miss Michael Hyatt’s FREE upcoming webinar: “The 7 Deadly Sins of Productivity: The Hidden Habits Undermining Your Performance—and How to Change Them.”
Michael is a productivity expert, and he’s spent decades identifying the everyday habits that steal our focus and stunt our success. It’s all in his webinar.
Sign up to claim your spot today: http://freetofocus.com/jkelly/2017webinar