Having quality time without distractions goes hand in hand with maximizing your productivity. One method which I love is the idea of scheduling in distraction-free time.
Photo credit: mag3737
The idea is to have scheduled blocks of the day which are allocated to getting away from distractions. This is similar to the pomodoro technique but less structured and with potentially larger chunks of time depending on the project. This is distraction free period of time focused on working, free of all the distractions. For example, I had a friend who regularly scheduled in “Talk to the hand!” time in their calendar.
Tips for Establishing Distraction-Free Time
Put it in your schedule. Make sure you have this down-time blocked off on your schedule. You always have something to look forward to, and it’s dedicated time to take a break and relax.
Turn off your distractions. Turn off your email reminders, close your calendar, and mute your phone. Try to get away from it as much as you can. Sometimes, I’ll even unplug my laptop and find a quiet place to work or just print off papers to review if I can.
Focus on a specific objective. Trying to do too much at one time can often introduce new potential distractions. If you can, assign one project or objective for the productive time that you’ve scheduled.
Build in time for planning instead of doing. At the beginning of the day, spend time planning what your schedule will be. Review your daily agenda, and find large pockets of time that you can block off for productive time.
Don’t forget down-time. Make time for yourself. Consider scheduling in down-time, as well, to make sure you have plenty of time to take care of all the other things. Or, just take to take a walk to clear your mind!
How do you stay productive throughout the day?