Productivity hacks are the best. What’s not to love about getting stuff done faster and better???
I love learning ways to be more efficient, or ways to combine tasks, or automate tasks. It’s almost like I have a obsession with productivity.
There are probably thousands of books written on the subject. (I have a few personal favorites I’ll mention later.)
But there is one thing that increases my productivity more than anything else.
Like, I can do this one thing, and see a crazy amount of work get done.
Even better, it costs no extra money or time to do it. It doesn’t even require I spend five hours in the gym.
The one thing that makes me ten times more productive:
1. Leave my phone in the other room.
That’s it. That’s my number one secret to being productive. Why? Because it makes me single task.
Single-tasking versus Multi-tasking:
I had no clue that I was being so distracted by my stinkin’ iPhone. After reading a few books that talked about the importance of focus, I started thinking about single tasking.
Everybody looks at a multi-taskers as the people who are just so “successful” and get stuff done
Except that’s a fib… The more I began to pay attention to the difference between the multi-taskers and single taskers, the more I realized a big discrepancy. For instance, my husband is a single tasker. In everything. The man cannot multi-task.
It drives me crazy some days, because I’m that person that loves to do everything at once. But you know what? He gets crap done. He’s one of the hardest workers I know, and when he focuses his attention on the one thing, he gets it done in record time.
Other people who claim to be super productive and have their picture in the dictionary next to the word “multi-tasker” don’t even come close to accomplishing what I’ve seen single taskers get done.
Don’t just take my word for it! Look around at the people you know. Look at what they actually accomplish versus how they say they spend their time.
i.e. Look beyond the people who talk about how crazy busy they are, and how much they are doing at the same time. Most of these people are stressed to the max and not accomplishing nearly what they think they are.
Read these three books:
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
All three of these books talk about the importance of focus and how it changes the your life. Also, all three of these books are the kind of books you could read every year and learn something new from them!
Why I hide the phone:
There is nothing more distracting than having a smartphone within grasp 24/7.
Do a little experiment if you don’t believe me.
- Text five people, open all of your social media accounts and then sit down and try to write a blog post. Or clean your kitchen. Don’t forget to time yourself.
- Now, go set your phone in the other room and try to accomplish the same task. Time yourself.
I experimented with this over and over again. Whether I was writing a blog post, cleaning my house, doing other work, or doing stuff with the kids.
The results were consistent.
Every time I focused COMPLETELY on one task, (aka no phone distractions) I got it done in HALF the time. And this is still with two toddlers “helping” me.
I kept using the excuse that I wasn’t productive because I was trying to get things done with kids.
Turns out I was the problem.
I was the one who was distracting myself with my phone and getting hardly anything done.
Because let’s be real: Instagram and Facebook are time suckers. Not to mention texting about every little thing.
(Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE all these things. I would have a hard time staying in touch with my family and friends if it weren’t for texting and Instagram.)
When I remove that distraction, I can focus on what needs to get done right then. Later once my work is done, then I can reward myself with a few minutes of uninterrupted instagram browsing. 😉
What if you use your phone for work?
- Turn your ring tone up loud- this way you can still set your phone aside and focus on the task before you.
- Set aside 5-10 minutes every couple hours to reply to texts and emails.
- Single task on your phone.
- Monitor how you are spending your time on your phone. (If you go into your phone’s settings you can see how much time is spent on your apps, messages, calls, etc.)
- Force yourself to focus by leaving your phone in a different room!
- Learn to focus all your attention and energy on one task before moving on to another.
- Recognize your phone as a tool, not the governing force of your life.
P.S. There IS a downside to this. I found that I wasn’t addicted to my phone after starting this. I didn’t feel like I needed to check my phone every five minutes. Buuuuut, that meant I also sometimes forgot my phone when I left the house (not a good plan when it has my grocery lists on it!).