This week I’m starting a big new research and writing project that’s prompted me to get serious about productivity.
Why? Because I’m a pro at self-distraction. My top time-wasters include:
- Checking Facebook and Gmail obsessively
- Responding to non-time-sensitive e-mails
- Obsessing over trivialities like tweaking a Wordpress theme
- Deciding I need to buy something to continue my work
But these distractions pale in comparison to my most common problem, which is: not knowing exactly where to put my focus.
The result of all this non-productivity?
- I spend too much time “working” (but not really working) on my laptop: roughly 6-10 hours throughout the day, only 2-3 of which are actually spent on meaningful work.
- I don’t spend enough time doing other awesome stuff: being outside, cooking, exercising, pleasure reading, or spending time with friends, for example.
- I stay up too late. Then I don’t sleep enough. Then I’m a grump.
- I don’t get my most important work done. Which is the biggest bummer, because it means I’m no longer contributing to the world in the way I want.
I’ve known and accepted these issues for a long time. But slowly—ever so slowly—I’ve gathered an army of tools and strategies to combat them.
Here they are. Continue Reading