Life in the digital world is increasingly distracting. Whether it’s someone next to you, your cell phone, tablet, computer, TV, or any of the other devices that distract, it’s hard to resist the constant bombardment of notifications. However, part of being productive in the digital age is using these devices and the apps on them. So how do you balance the need to focus with the need to use technology?
Plan Ahead and Often
Always be planning. You can use productivity tools like Evernote and Asana to keep your personal life productive and workflow tools like Monday, Jira, or Zapier to keep your work life more productive by using hard data to track the number of tasks you complete each day and the time taken to complete them. That way, you can measure the effect that using these tools has on the way you work. You’d be amazed how many people wake up without a thought of what they plan to get done that day. Even those that have a plan forget to record it in some way and it rarely gets done. Go against the grain. Find a tool you like to keep track of your daily productivity.
Click here for a list of workflow and productivity tools.
Embrace “Do Not Disturb”
Learn to say no to distractions. This can be simply avoiding things that you know distract you. Maybe you play video games too much or watch too much television. More likely than not you spend too much time doing who knows what on your phone. Saying no involves saying no to both yourself and the people in your life that distract you. Ever get ready to start a bunch of work only for the office chatterbox to stroll in and start talking your ear off about their new car? Don’t go with the flow. Say no and get your work done.
Don’t lurk. Doing all of your work in one place limits your imagination. Change up where you work and go on walks as often as possible throughout the day. Perhaps you used to listen to a podcast at your desk. Take it with you instead. Maybe you can dictate some ideas you’re brainstorming while on a walk. Get up from your desk and go work somewhere else regularly. You’d be amazed at how much more productive you become.
Remember that plan for the day you made? Don’t stop working until everything on your list is done. Believe it or not, that extra work will actually make you more relaxed. Why? Because instead of staying up late worrying about what you forgot to do or have to do first thing in the morning, you’ll be ahead of the game. Know what you’re capable of getting done in one day, plan it out to the T, and get it done before you call it a day.
Use Social Media Sparingly
It’s rare that you’ll find someone who doesn’t interact with social media in some way. The urge to constantly check your feed is arguably the most distracting thing in modern life. Think about how much time you spend on social media and what benefit you’re really getting out of it. If you’re learning and perhaps promoting something, that’s productive. If you’re looking at the profiles of old friends then maybe you’re wasting time.
No matter how productive you think you are, there are always to improve your productivity. And what does being productive ultimately lead to? Peace and tranquility. Stress results from fear of the unknown. When you complete tasks, you’re minimizing the unknown. Even if you are already productive, you can still plan more often and accurately. Those who are good at strategizing might even find ways to accomplish more by doing less. You might even follow all of the tips in this article to some degree, but you can always do more to drastically improve your daily productivity.