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  • Writer's pictureTommy Cicero

Productivity by design

"Effective performance is preceded by painstaking preparation"

Getting our work completed can be tough when we allow minor distractions to sometimes cause big delays in crossing items off our To-do list. Whether it's around our home or for our jobs, if we have any tendency to get easily distracted by our environment, we are more likely to spend more of our time on distractions than on our action items that are time sensitive and need to get done. Willpower alone may not be enough for most of us to stay focused on our work. By setting up our environment to allow for less distractions, we design a way to be more productive and complete our work more efficiently.

I can attest that sure willpower does not always work for me. To compare my attention span to that of a squirrel or dog may not be that far off. I sometimes seek distractions to pull me away from whatever I am working on when I know what I'm working on is more important and time-sensitive than whatever is lurking out the corner of my eye. Digital distractions from our screens love seeking our attention. Emails, texts and notifications can seem to keep piling up, while we know most of them have much less importance than what we are working on. Yet, we still oblige. Or at least I do.

Photo by Max Andrey on Pexels

I have learned to turn off notifications from apps that do not require my immediate attention, like Twitter and YouTube. I also started silencing my phone during certain periods of the day when I need to be more focused so I can complete whatever I'm working on with minimal distractions. I have also designed my home office to be more distraction free during the day by hiding the TV remote and turning around the chair I watch TV in. I use a stand up desk and tend to be more productive that way. I even have a sign hanging near my desk that reads, "I get shit done." It's a mantra of mine and a reminder that it's on me to get my work completed.

It have lost countless hours tending to distractions that only delay what I need to get done. Some of us are better at limiting our distractions, but for those of us who tend to get easily distracted, there are processes and structures we can put in place to minimize how often and how long those distractions occur. Willpower alone may not be enough. By designing our environment to allow for increased productivity, we can knock out that To-do list a lot quicker, leaving us more time for leisure and doing the things we want to do.

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