I recently decided to get serious about increasing my productivity. I realised I was often working long days (10+ hours were not an exception), however when I was looking at the fruits of my labour at the end of the day, I found myself often disappointed with the results. So many hours spend working, but the results weren’t showing…
I therefor decided to become serious about increasing my productivity, so I can work less while at the same time increasing the amount of work getting done. I started by taking a serious and critical look at what’s eating away at my productivity and then doing something about it!
One of the first things I noticed was that when I thought I was working, I was actually doing tons of other stuff… Checking an incoming email, answering a Skype call, checking my sales stats, looking at Facebook, checking Hacker News, etc. I estimate about 50% of the time I was spending NOT working but doing other, non-essential stuff. Hence my first improvement, cutting out distractions and focus!
The way I decided to tackle the issue, was by cutting out all distractions for one hour and do nothing but working towards a set goal (this goal could be answering support calls, working on a new product, doing client work, etc). During this hour, I shut down Skype, my email client and everything else that can interrupt my work. Once the hour is up, I take 10 – 15 minutes to do whatever I’d like, after which I do another hour of work without any distractions. I keep repeating this cycle three or four times per day.
After doing this for a couple of days, I found that even though I was only working for three or four hours per day, the amount of work I actually got done was a lot more then before, I’d say I’m getting easily twice the amount of work done compared to before I started cutting out all distractions and focus on work.