This is a recommended practice from a series about how to focus in my online course, Science of Finding Flow.
Do you want to focus more and multitask less? Here’s the thing: Unless you actually schedule time during which you can focus uninterrupted, it is unlikely that the time will just magically appear.
Try grouping your daily tasks into two categories: “Think Work” and “Action Items.” Then block off time on your calendar for both things. I do my “Think Work” totally uninterrupted, and I try to take a break every 60-90 minutes. If you are just starting out, aim for 20 minutes of uninterrupted work before you take a break. I have to do this when I’m just coming back from vacation. It takes some practice to focus for long periods of time.
My “Action Items” take less concentration, but I still tackle them one at a time in sequence—not parallel. Unless I’m working my way through my email, my email application is closed. I answer the phone only for scheduled calls. I leave my iPhone in do-not-disturb mode (so that I can see if my kids’ schools call, but that’s about it) and reply to texts before breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before I put my phone away for the evening. Having these “rules” for myself has dramatically increased my productivity.
Join the Discussion
When during the day will you do your deep work? When will you tackle your action items? Block those times off as recurring events on your calendar now.
This “class” is from “The Science of Finding Flow,” an online course I created as a companion to my book The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less. Want to go on to the next class or start the course from the beginning? It’s free! Just go to The Science of Finding Flow course page. Enjoy!