Photo Credit – Adam Greig
A few months ago my watch died. Not, in and of itself remarkable, but I happen to be allergic to leather straps and metal chains, so buying a new watch is a challenge. I started using my phone to keep track of time, and a funny thing happened along the way – I became more productive. Here are my top 3 tips:
- Work in time blocks. I get distracted when I have too many things to do and they are all equally important. Distraction leads me down the road to procrastination, and that’s not a good thing. To combat the downward spiral, I set a timer for 10 minutes (use your phone, tablet, or this online timer http://www.timer-tab.com/) and get to work. Whether it’s responding to emails, checking out labour market reports, tweeting, doesn’t matter, but when the timer goes off, I switch to another task.
- Meet on your feet. Instead of waiting until you are seated in an office or a conference room, go for a walk with your colleague. Stepping away from your desk will free your mind, refresh you mentally and physically, and will give you energy to go on with your day. Check out Nilofer Merchant’s Ted Talk on the power of walking meetings.
- Unplug. Yes, it’s the toughest tip on my list, but one that is well worth doing a few times. If you’re addicted to checking your messages, emails, tweets… unplug every once in a while, even if you only do it for half a day. By removing the background noise and interruptions that come from being plugged in, you’ll eventually reach that pre-social media concentration span and find yourself naturally more productive. It takes some practice, though… Maybe you should set the timer.