Written by Egor Sidelska
I don’t want to work hard, it’s true I don’t – Working till 1am or all day Sunday is not interesting to me, you do it where you have to but that shouldn’t be a requisite.
- Working smarter is way more in line with my goals and agenda for 2020.
- Working smarter is about productivity.
- Productivity is about how you use your time.
- Time is about focus.
- Focus is about minimising distraction.
We are only human after all. There are always distractions, there is always something going on - the more you can prioritise your working time to meaningful tasks, the more productive you will be which means no more weekend work. Sounds pretty good to me!
Here are some of the 3 ways I prioritise working hours to be productive:
1. Mobile Notifications
Our phones are a massive time suck and offer little back. I live on my phone so I’m a total culprit of this. I spend between 2-4 hours on my phone a day! (Thanks Apple). Most of that is dead time. Instagram, Spotify and WhatsApp seem to drag me away from whatever I’m doing, what a waste…
I found two tricks to help reduce that time considerably. Turn most of your notifications off, both on the badges where it says how many new unread messages are waiting for you (the little red number on your apps) and on your lock screen so your phone doesn’t strobe light continuously when the group chat is going off.
That attention seeking device is now working for you, only telling you what’s actually important that you need to know. In my case, only calls, messages and calendar reminders. Everything else you will check in your more than 80 phone pick-ups a day (Thanks again Apple).
2. Mobile Grey Scale
This should really be 1.1 because it’s so closely aligned to the first. Now that we have reduced how often you pick your phone up, we need to reduce the time you spend on it. I will be the first to admit, I see a text message, I reply, I quickly check Instagram, scroll through my stories, scroll down the feed and before I know it I’m 10 minutes deep and I’ve completely forgot what I was meant to be doing.
There is a setting, in accessibilities, called Grey Scale, where you can change your phone to black and white mode - it sounds horrible I know, but my god does it work. The best part is that you can have a shortcut for it (on iPhone). At the beginning of my day I press the lock button 3 times and my phone is now grey for my working hours. I guarantee, if you do this consistently you will have no interest looking at Instagram, Tumbler, Twitter or Facebook. Something about those bright colours keeps your dopamine going, but, black and white is just, boring. This function also saves battery life!
I got back more than an hour a day just with this alone. After 6pm when you’re at home, just turn it back and go for your life. Also for you Android users, there are similar settings available!
Motivation is hard sometimes, which is why I cheat. I love chocolate, I also love coffee and a walk around the office. I find the morning is my most productive time and generally after lunch it starts to fall off a cliff. My aim is to continue being productive throughout the day to make sure I can leave in peace knowing I have done enough work.
So I cheat. After lunch I have a Peak Focus, banana and big cup of cold water - We created Focus for people like me, and now you. A chocolate cognitive pick-me-up. My brain is back in productivity mode. The banana is for something sweet and filling and the water because dehydration has a 30% negative impact on your brain's ability to execute tasks.
Start with these 3 things and let us know how you go. Remember, consistency is key here, I have been doing this for the last two years and I notice a massive impact when life happens and throws me out of routine. Routine is freeing, it allows you to focus your time on something else.