With a new job I barely have time for anything that doesn’t have to do with my work. Whether it’s job related, school, and internship I don’t live a life outside of these three things, unfortunately. At this point it’s super easy for me to lose focus because it’s usually the number one thing I want to do. I always want to procrastinate….I just want two seconds to take time to do absolutely nothing that has to do with my work. For instance, I would give up anything to stare at the wall for a few moments. Yea, that’s how busy my day can get and it’s so tempting to just throw all my papers in the air and say “F*CK THIS SH*T!” But I don’t…If I do such a thing I’ll never be on track again. I’m the type of person who needs to keep working until it’s done, literally, even if it means staying up til 6am.
So how do we busy people consistently stay productive? Besides shutting out all the insignificant posts on our Facebooks, Instagrams, and Twitters (even though it’s hard to resist not reading anything from Elite Daily), we acquired the skills to know and achieve exactly what we want in less time than others. If you have ever talked to a successful entrepreneur you’ll see they get straight to the point instead of dilly dallying around. I’ve been incredible blessed to have these type of people in my life and family and have learned much from them. From controlling time limits when 10+ tasks need to be done in less than an hour to making the most out of a short lunch break, there’s a way to stay fully productive without flipping your desk and screaming at your co-workers.
Here’s how it’s done in 5 simple steps:
1. Have a single focus purpose
One thing many successful entrepreneurs have in common is the ability to focus on what matters most. If today you are making a presentation and have to memorize it 3 days later, focus ONLY on making that presentation. If you try to memorize it in the process of making it your focus will be thrown off. Do one thing and do it right.
“Pick one thing and do that one thing- and only that one thing – better than anyone else ever could.” - Jason Goldberg, CEO of Fab.com
2. Block out distractions
And this I mean by people, social media, staring out the window, etc etc. Put your personal phone on silent. If it’s really important from someone significant, they should know your office number and contact you that way. Remember how in a previous article I mentioned an app that tracks what you’re doing in life? Well, get to downloading that because it’ll come in handy if you want to track your productivity. There’s also one you can download for your computer called Rescue Time. It’s an app that runs in the background of your computer and measures how you spend your time. And if you’re a social media stalker like me and can’t resist looking at Facebook and Instagram several times an hour this software is perfect for you. Download Get Concentrating which temporarily blocks all social media sites from your computer. It costs $29 but it’s DEF worth it if you’re a professional procrastinator.
“I concentrate on concentrating.” - Martina Navratilova, pro tennis player
3. Set a time limit on meetings
If you have 1hr 30min for a meeting set a limit for presentations, discussions and questions. If you’re not controlling the meetings write down questions you want to ask when they arise during the presentation so you’re not sitting there trying to remember what you wanted to ask afterwards. Thinking about what you forgot will make you lose focus on everything else. And yes, I’m guilty of that. I’m also guilty of staring at the window for too long and day dreaming. Now I make sure I get a seat with my back facing the window.
”By giving people half of the time they ask for a meeting or appointment, I am able to cram a number of things in the day and move people in and out more effectively.” - Gary E. McCullough, former U.S. army captain and now CEO of Career Education Corp.
4. Have productivity rituals
Setting up rituals will automate behaviors which will make you more productive. For instance, I always put the easy stuff first and the harder longer tasks last. This way I’m not working on one single project for several hours. I get the easy stuff done first. It also makes me feel more accomplished.
”Force yourself to prioritize so that you know that you will finish at least that one critical task during the period of the day when you have the most energy and the fewest distractions.” - Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project.
5. Wake up earlier
Waking up sucks. I love my sleep. But I also love having extra time later in the day to do other things. So it’s a win-win situation. I wake up earlier to get my workout in first thing in the morning. Yea sometimes I’m groggy and tired but when 5-6 0′clock hits I can finish up other tasks and possibly happy hour. My advice to waking up early if you have trouble is to wake up 15min early each day until you hit your time mark. Your body needs to get used to the change first. So get out of bed and pursue your goals!