By default, people multi-task. It’s been proven ineffective by many researchers; yet people ignore all those evidence and keep doing it. Anyway thats not the case with me.
I know that i’m a uni-tasker, and I was happy doing it for a while, but multi-tasking just can’t accept that. It keeps buggin in from time to time, asking me to check this, and do that, and with the easily distracted mind of mine, I lose the battle most of the time.
Problem lies in external and internal distractions.
The solution I found for internal distractions is to …
- Clean your desk for only papers and stuff you’re using, and everything else out of sight
- Use one paper to contain all tasks
- Other papers for detailed representation of your thoughts.
- Empty your Desktop, but keep documents that your working on or folders that your regularly access. (I use aliases for internal folders and put them on desktop)
- Dock for apps that run 80% of the time
- Launchpad for regularly used apps, one swipe away (Typing is fast but i’m lazier than to type 2 letters for opening an application)
- Fullscreen Apps
- Fullscreen browser with relevant tabs, or Presentation Mode with random ones
- One mode at a time. If you design, then leave only design related apps, if you code then leave all code related apps. Don’t leave apps running in background.
- Downloads is my inbox for everything. Dump is for random stuff that I don’t need, nor i want to delete them
This kind of distraction seems inevitable, because anyone can call you for needing something, or co-workers interrupts to ask you about something.
For me I solved it by …
- Flight mode or Don’t Disturb for focus periods.
- Setting time for conversations. If your chatting, have a time limit for it. Then close your client, then check in after 3-4 hours depends on your time of focus
- Closing personal email or notifications. I mainly use it for newsletter and registration
- Silent work email. Close desktop client, but leave your phone client on silent, so after you finish your focus session, you can check it out
- Leave email open for a specific period of time, if you’re having conversation. (It’s rude to leave someone hanging on the other end)
- Avoid chatting. Because it takes a lot of time in side conversations. If want to communicate written words, email is very efficient, but if you want to explain something long and complicated, have a voice chat.
What’s the point?
Focus is the most important thing while working is to have those pure couple of hours. You can spend a day trying to solve a problem while it could’ve been done in just one hour. It’s not by the amount of time you give in, it’s the quality of work you get out.
Even if you love your work so much —as most of us do— Work is work, it’s tiring and sucks the life out of you. Try to grab best time to work, and dive right in for couple of hours, get back up, take a breath, connect with others, then get back down.
I tend distribute work across the day. To have couple of hours in the morning from 8-10, another session after my workout at 12-4. And final one at night around 7-9. This I consider too much work. So for you may be as short as 4 hours a day (If you are a designer). Change all you want but try to keep time from 20 minutes to 4 hours.
Respect your time before you ask others to respect it.
Published by: Seif in Productivity