1. Have a Dedicated Work Space.
We are creatures of habit. If you have a specific area in your home dedicated to getting computer work done, you will train your brain to think of work while you are there. If you’re constantly setting up your laptop on the pile of laundry on the couch, or in front of the tv, or on the dinner table- your brain will be just as cluttered and confused as the space in which it is working.
2. Identify your Creative Hour & Your Power Hour
You have a natural rhythm. There are times of day where creativity flows through you wildly, times where you feel you need to pound things out and get things done, and times of day you feel changing the channel is the most you can muster. Go with your rhythm. Work on balancing the books, casting the show, answering emails, when you are in your “power hour” and brainstorm new ideas when you are in your creative hour. Using your natural rhythm will help you stay focused. Nothing good comes from trying to plug away during your body’s natural brain dead time.
3.Work offline as much as possible.
The internet is chock full of distractions. Social media comments on your threads, the item you were just “window shopping” for appears in your browser all of the sudden, one link leads to another… and so on. Before you know it, you’ve burned 30minutes to an hour and your work still isn’t done.
Work offline. Need to write a blog? Type it up in word and then copy paste into your site instead of composing online. No matter what your task is; minimizing distractions is the key.
4. Manage Your Distractions
Like when meditating, it is perfectly normal to become distracted. Does an idea or task pop into your head while you are trying to work on something else? Acknowledge it by writing it down as something to get to when you have finished what you are doing. Multitasking is a myth. You will get much more done by having laser focus on one task a time.
5. Manage your email, texts, and Facebook messages. Don’t let them manage you.
Answering within 24 hours is still the professional rule. Don’t feel the need to stop what you are doing and answer someone every time your phone or computer makes the dreaded dinging noise.
Choose two to three times per day (depending on the volume you are dealing with) to answer emails/messages, preferably not first thing in your workday. Get one task on your list done, then spend 15-20 or so minutes on emails/messages, then get back to work.
I like to do one task, answer messages, then not answer messages again until 30/40 minutes before my work day ends.
6. Take Breaks Often
Our brain is most efficient when we take a short break every 45 minutes, especially if you do something physical in that time. Spend five minutes doing jumping jacks, stretching, walking around the room, walking to get another cup of coffee- anything to get you moving.
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