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How To Work Less, Get More Done and Reclaim your Focus

I’m going to share techniques I use to help me get more focused work done.

Most of us probably feel like we’re working more than ever. That’s because snacking on shallow work and pushing information around makes us feel busy and accomplished — but it’s actually just preventing us from getting to deep work.

Technology has made our online world very attractive.

We struggle because:

  • Distractions are everywhere in the modern world
  • Tech algorithms are intentionally competing for our attention
  • We’re obsessed with being busy
  • A sharp decline in our ability to sustain focus makes it very difficult to revert

There’s a lot of good research and advice out there to suggest we can recover from this. Here’s 3 that I found useful:

1: Stop Multi-tasking

I’m was very much in the guilty camp when it comes to opening new tabs in my web browser and constantly context switching. The research shows, multitasking is no good for productivity. Known as the switching cost effect, it’s the lost time when you mentally transition from one topic to another. Audit those open browser tabs and close all except the one you need!

2: Be mindful about Technology

Everywhere we look, people are glued to their screens, playing games, messaging friends or constantly refreshing their feeds. We just can’t disconnect!

Be mindful when using social media and scrolling the internet. Audit your phone usage, be intentional about usage and aim to block 2 hours in the morning and at night when there’s no screen time.

This year, I plan to spend more time in person with those I would usually interact with online. Simple change, many benefits.

3: Schedule dedicated blocks of time

Sit down the night prior and work out a schedule for the day ahead. Start by scheduling all your daily activities in 30 minute blocks, and review your calendar and evening plans. Don’t stress when your day changes, it will!

The idea is to not be so rigid, but to bring attention to where your time is going. For example, a 30-minute block at the end of a work day to check and close out on emails, works wonders. It prevents evening scrolling when we should be relaxing.

That’s it. 3 simple habits that will improve your focus, your work and your free time.

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