I've been working on my habits and renewing my focus these past few weeks and I wanted to share the strategies I've learned and find the most useful.
1. Get off social media.
WHAT?! How can you say that?
Look social media is a productivity killer.
I've just learned that once your focus is interrupted it can take 23 minutes to get back on track. Since we are constantly interrupted with social media messages, instant messaging apps, text and emails, we basically never get "on track”.
But social medial is one of the best ways to keep in contact with people and market yourself.
The solution is to schedule your social media time. I do 15 minutes a week and, yes, that’s enough time to catch up and see what’s going on.
So, decide how long and at what time you're going to look at it. Make a decision and stick to it.
2. Don’t sleep with your phone by your bed.
Find a place outside of your bed room to keep your phone. I keep mine in the kitchen.
Doing this serves several purposes.
Looking at your phone (or devices) before bed is terrible for your sleep. Get off your devices at least 30 minutes before you usually go to sleep. This will insure a more restful sleep.
Did you know that 1 in 3 people wake up in the middle of the night to check their phone. Not having your phone by your bed will definitely prevent you from looking at it at 3:30 am.
Seeing your phone in another room also encourages better morning habits.
Question: as soon as you get up, what do you do? Do you check your email, FB, Twitter, Instagram, or the latest social media app?
This is a killer!
Because before you've even gotten out of bed, your mind is hijacked by other people.
Do you think J.J. Abrams or Kathleen Kennedy check their social media when they wake up? I doubt it.
Take time in the morning before you pick up your phone and ask yourself: “What are the three most important things you need to get done today?”
Then give yourself 30 minutes in the morning to start working on accomplishing those things.
The author Mel Robbins calls this 30 before 7:30 (7:30 being her deadline to get her 30 minutes in). You don’t have to finish the 3 things but you have to get started on them.
3. The Full Focus Planner
To that effect another powerful tool that I’ve started using is the Full Focus Planner. - It employs the idea of 3 daily big tasks.
I'm a planner junky, but for me, none have worked as well as the Full Focus Planner.
Handwriting your goals, routines, tasks and daily commitments puts these things in the front of your brain.
I still use my computer calendar but I recommit to my appointments, goals and tasks when I write them down on the daily pages.
Michael Hyatt talks about this idea of recommitment in the 12 tutorial videos he made on how to use the FFP.
You might be thinking...it’s a planner how hard is it to use? And your right! It's really easy. The tutorials just really help solidify your intention and clarity when using the planner.
4. Track Your Time
Lastly, tracking your time is helpful for productivity. This helps you know exactly where your time is going.
Are you spending too much on social media? (see above) Are you spending too much time on task that could be delegated? Are you spending your time doing things you don't like?
Or, are you using your time really wisely? Are you getting your work time it? Are you getting your leisure time in?
Tracking your time will put a mirror up to how you use your time and there won’t be anything to blame but yourself.
I’ve been getting so much done since implementing these strategies. I hope you find them useful!
What have you been doing to get stuff done? Let me know.