3 Simple Productivity Hacks To Stay Focused
Instantly create more time & space in your head & day for growing your business
When we’re building our dream businesses, most of us find ourselves wishing we had more time. While we all have 24 hours in a day, typically us high-achievers have so jam-packed our days, our approach must be different.
If you’re reading this, you may be in one of two situations:
- You’re an entrepreneur at heart, but you’re still in the 9–5 grind. You want to quit your 9–5 and are actively trying to build your side hustle in your “spare time“ (if you can call it that). You don’t have a lot of time to spare, and you need to fiercely protect it.
- You’ve already quit and have started living the entrepreneur dream. But now you’re working from home, or out of coffee shops, and maybe for the first time are ever answering to no one but yourself. The distractions are endless and enticing — and time-consuming.
So whether you are in one camp or the other, here are 3 super-simple, practical ways to instantly create a bunch more time & space in your day — and in your head — for growing your business and your income.
Productivity Hack #1: Turn off the notifications on your phone.
Turn off Facebook notifications, email notifications, Instagram notifications, etc.
Every time you’re distracted, studies show it takes 24 MINUTES to get back on track. 24 MINUTES! You can’t afford that kind of time-wasting, right?
️The only notifications coming through should be ones worthy of pulling you away from working on your dream (i.e. an urgent matter like needing to pick up a sick kid or family member)…NOT someone liking your post or commenting on it or sending you a message.
Even though I’ve built my business using Facebook, I only check in & respond there once a day, from my computer (not my phone). I’m present and focused when I do, and then I’m present and focused wherever else I am the rest of the time.
So turn those notifications off, and only check social media with INTENTION, at certain times of day. Speaking of social media and intention…
Productivity Hack #2: Set a timer for your time-sucks
You don’t have to give up everything that you like doing for fun (and that’s kinda not the point of building a business you love, right? ;), but it is important to be aware of how you’re spending your time. This awareness allows you to consciously choose it, rather than blindly passing time and wondering where it all went or how to get more.
Here’s an example: Facebook is like a casino! The whole platform is designed so that you don’t want to leave. You constantly get notifications that pull you back in when you’re just about to close out. The newsfeed NEVER ENDS. You can just keep scrolling and you will literally never hit “the end.” There’s always more to do and see.
You might have important work that needs to happen in that casino, but you also don’t want to get caught doing shots and rolling dice at the craps table in the middle of the day when you’re supposed to be working, right? I’m looking at you, too, Buzzfeed “What Pizza Am I?” quizzes. If you create content for Facebook or Instagram, then create it in a Google Doc or in Word, OFFLINE.
Then, when it’s time to get on Facebook (or your platform of choice), set a timer for 15 minutes (or whatever is a reasonable amount of time for what you need to do). Copy & paste your post, schedule or post it, respond to any comments that have come in since the last time you were there, and send necessary PMs. Then, if you want, you can scroll through the newsfeed, check your favorite groups, take a Buzzfeed quiz (ahem) and do whatever you want on Facebook until that timer goes off — and then you EXIT the casino. That’s it. Walk away. The timer is in charge here, not you. You can always come back when you’re “off” work. That’s the beauty of this casino, it’s just a click away. :)
Productivity Hack #3: Say Goodbye to LIVING In Your Inbox
How many times do you see a new email come in when you’re in the middle of something, you open it, read it and you think, “I don’t have time to deal with that right now, I’ll come back to it.” Or you think, “I’ll just take care of that real quick, it’ll only take me a few minutes.” Either way, you then have to get your head back in the game regarding what you were working on. How often does that happen? Honestly, ALL THE TIME, all day long.
So, I challenge you to close out your email tab, and only check it a couple of times a day — two is the goal, but you can start with more and wean yourself down if you need to.
Most of us are in our inboxes all the time, from the moment we roll over to turn off the alarm (and then our fingers go immediately to the mail app & the Facebook app). Maybe it’s in a separate tab in your browser, but can YOU resist the siren call of that new notification popping up? Why tempt yourself?
Just like with turning off social media notifications, closing out email means you are happening TO your day and acting on purpose with your goals, rather than letting everyone else’s priorities and random thoughts and distractedness dictate your day. When you do, you hit the end of the day and think, “What did I actually accomplish today?!?”
Open up that email tab on your computer 2x per day, respond, handle, and archive as needed, then GET OUTTA THERE. CLOSE. X it out. Done.
You can make this transition easier on the people you communicate with (if you feel you need to) by setting expectations that you’re doing this.
️For example, if you need to let people know that you’re not immediately available anymore, put up an out-of-office reply that says you’re busy working on your priorities and that, in order to do that, you’re now only checking email periodically and that you will make every effort to respond to their request within 24 hours (or whatever timeframe is most appropriate for what you do).
I suggest that once you’ve weaned yourself down, you check your email at 10AM, after you’ve already put in focused time in the morning on your creative/most important tasks, and then again at 4PM to catch anything that might have come in during the day before you shut it down.
Remember to leave enough time to actually deal with what’s in your inbox. But by doing this in a focused way, you really are clearing up so much time throughout the day by not being distracted.
Some of this might seem extreme. I know some of you just laughed at me when I suggested checking email twice a day. Honestly, our addiction to know what’s going on at all times can be powerful.
But if you’re seriously committed to building your dream business — to quit your 9–5, or ensure your business takes off so that you never, ever have to go back again — then it’s time to interrupt the patterns keeping you stuck and create more space for your business and bank account to flourish.
Are you willing? Let me know in the comments below!
Ready for more strategies to get out of your own way, replace your income and build your dream business? You can grab the first chapter of Christine’s book: The Income Replacement Formula: 7 Simple Steps To Doing What You Love & Making 6 Figures From Anywhere for FREE by clicking here.