When Tools become Distractions

With technology at the tip of our fingers, we should feel more productive than ever! So why do we feel so overwhelmed?

Fact: The tools you use now should increase productivity.

Problem: When not conscious of the way the tools are being used, they actually do the opposite and slow you down!

Here are a few simple tricks to help you become less overwhelmed and more productive instantly!


TIP #1 – Flip Your List.
Ready for this one? It is simple but so effective!
By now we have become masterful at writing lists, but the problem is that it’s such a large list, the items near the bottom are rarely getting done. In addition to that, our brain typically has all of the easy items to do on the tip of our tongue, so when the pen hits the paper, the easy ones fall out first; Leaving the more challenging or detailed ones for the bottom.

That’s why we flip it! Literally rewrite your list. This time, start from the last one, and make it your first. The end result will amaze you. Not only will you have completed the tasks that have been following you around for days or weeks, the rest of the day will appear easier since all of the easier ones will be the only ones left.

TIP #2 – Prepare Yourself for Distractions.
The top 3 reported distractions are most likely also your favorite parts of the day: email, social media, and your cell phone. Understanding that these useful tools feed into your distraction pile will help you prepare for a productive day.

Checking email can literally drain hours from your day, unless you create a plan. So make one!

Here is one example: Allow yourself to check email every 2 hours. During that time, respond to ones that can be answered in under 3 minutes, flag those that can wait until later, and for emails needing more attention, store in mailbox folders. Then close the email window, and add reminders to your phone when to check on them.

Social Media.
Think of your social media like the walk to the water cooler. You wouldn’t go there every few minutes, knowing how many distractions will be along the way, but you would schedule it when you needed a break. So add the break and write it in your calendar.

Example: 8am check social media and create a post relevant to your business or your mindset for the day. 12pm check social media to see who is following you. 5pm check social media to get ideas for tomorrows’ post.

Cell Phone.
While our phones are often critical to our business, they also are a major distraction as many people text and call at random times throughout the day. Manage your calls.

Create a schedule for yourself that allows you take personal calls at specific times throughout the day.
Example: Perhaps the same schedule as checking on social media: morning, midday, end of day.

Keep in mind that in order to use your phone as a useful tool, you will need to manage the calls, rather than letting them manage your day.   People will let you know if it is urgent, and if it isn’t, it can surely wait.

Being busy is great if you are getting everything done, but if your busy simply fills time and leaves you more frustrated at the end of the day, these small tips will help you use your tools to double your productivity!


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