How to stay Productive and Focused when EVERYTHING wants your Attention
Its getting incredibly difficult to get some alone time when your phone, email, Netflix and your procrastinating mind want you to all focus on them, all the time.
Let me take a stab at the current tabs that are almost always open in your browser:
Gmail, Facebook and maybe Imgur or Reddit (you know, for like, creative inspiration).
How close am I?
Before we start too, I’m going to assume that you use Gmail and Chrome and all things Google 🙂 Let’s deal with these one by one.
How to make Gmail only notify you of the Important stuff
Ok, so you need to get yourself a Zapier account. You get your first 5 “zaps” free.
What Zapier does: It connects 2 different digital tools. Like any 2. It’s amazing and getting better all the time.
You can now tell Zapier to text you when an important email comes in. You set the parameters such as, if subject line contains Urgent, Halp!, Important, I think something broke but I promise I didn’t touch anything, then you’ll get a texty text saying “Yellow, one of your clients needs help”.
Once its setup, turn notifications off on your phone and close that Gmail tab till you want to take a look at it.
Next up, Facebook.
How to tell Facebook to leave you alone to focus
Firstly, grab your phone and turn off all notifications from Facebook (while you’re there, do the same for Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, all of them. No one is going to get hold of you in an emergency by sending you a Snap).
This will save you AN INSANE amount of wasted time looking at notifications that are complete nonsense.
Next, move that little icon to its own screen, about 3 swipes across if you can, on your phone, so when you do go for a quick glance, that pesky blue icon isn’t the first thing you see.
Facebook on desktop needs to go to, so add in the Chrome extension: News Feed Eradicator
This will stop the inevitable scroll downwards when you do need to go on Facebook. Unfortunately, it’s a great marketing tool so we can’t kill it completely.
These two simple steps will give you a lot more productive time in the day already.
Now for those other ones…
How to limit your procrastination time
Imgur, Reddit, Ebaums world and any other site you frequent when avoiding work need to go at some point for you to focus.
Chrome extension number 2 is StayFocused.
This one just flat out cuts access to any site you choose. They have a few settings so you can give yourself “leisure” time so it’s not like going cold turkey.
So far, we’ve not done a lot but made a massive difference (hopefully, if you actually do it).
How to handle all things
Me personally, I have 3-4 projects on the go at once. People often ask me how I stay on top of them all when they are all important.
Well, the best way I’ve found is to block out days per project. If there are more complex things to do then I’ll block out more time to get that bit done.
I tried jumping from project to project but you end up going round and round doing nothing productive. It’s been proven that it takes the human brain around 20 mins to get back into full focus after being distracted. So, if you move from project to project, then you’re screwed basically.
This is also why it’s important to only let your phone and tabs annoy you if it’s an absolute emergency.
Some epic tools to help get stuff done
I use a lot of tools online to get my work done so here are a few of my favourites:
- https://www.canva.com/ – marketing material
- https://compressor.io/ – Compress your images for better SEO
- https://headlines.sharethrough.com/ – Write better headlines
- http://ami.responsivedesign.is/ – Great way to do quick design mockups of a site on all devices.
- https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/like-you-like-me/ofndgmohijgjmonpacpkadgplbfnoelm – Another chrome plugin. This was created by me and basically grows your followers naturally (as natural as automation does anyway)
Jon’s final thoughts
I’ve recently finished reading “How to be f*cking awesome” by Dan Meredith. Its a great and easy read so highly recommend it.
In the productivity chapter he mentions the 3-5 rule, which I adopted straight away!
You jot down 3-5 top things you are going to achieve each day of the working week (weekends are for relaxing and doing what makes you love life). Then… do… them. Amazingly simple. It’s very achievable and you feel awesome because you were productive.
Jon Schreyers – Tooling you up to be productive
About the author
Jon runs two websites, https://www.techwhisperer.com.au and https://www.wptemplates.store which both aim to help startups and entrepreneurs get online the right way. He also travels the world and works from very random places. Currently in Bansko, Bulgaria at the co-working space there. Feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Latest posts by Jon Schreyers (see all)
- 10 Co-working Do’s and Don’ts: Lessons from an easily agitated man - February 11, 2019
- Bad dates make the best stories… - October 17, 2018
- 5 Epic Tools for Productivity - July 25, 2018