Now that you know what your optimal day looks like, there’s just one teeny challenge left. How do you stay on track? How do you keep from sliding back to the dark side, to the Land of Distractions and Time Sucks? How do you keep your schedule from looking like a page out of John Madden’s playbook?
First, take a tip from Executive B: When you’re working on your have-tos, work smarter. The quicker you knock the “musts” off your list, the more time you have for the things you love. Remember, it’s not time management, it’s choice management.
Ditch the distractions. While you’re doing your “musts,” do not peek at your email. Turn off Instagram, Twitter-feed pings, and Facebook announcements. And no phone. Yup, I said it. No phone. And yesss, you will survive.
Block your time. Give yourself a solid, focused 30 to 60 minutes of undistracted work. Try these two tips from time-management gurus: One, do short bursts of in- tense work followed by short stretches of recovery (from Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr in The Power of Full Engagement). And two, shorten your deadline and tighten up your schedule so that you’ll increase your focus (from Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Workweek). Focus = productivity!
Take a break. This means making a cup of tea, walking around the room, stretching, folding the laundry, doing a set of pushups, or taking 10 simple breaths at your desk.This does not mean you get your phone back! Sorry! Each time you check your email or watch a Kardashian on Instagram, you not only clutter your focus, you create what time-optimization guru Cal Newport calls “cognitive residue.” In short, you fill your head with info-gunk that can take up to 20 minutes to clear. Could five minutes of Kardashians rob you of an hour of focused work time? Don’t take a chance. Get up and stretch!
This is an excerpt from The Right Fit Formula