Maximise productivity by turning off the tap

I am currently sat on a plane on my way for a well-deserved break. To kill some time I decided to open up my laptop and power through some emails to clear down my inbox and some of the low priority tasks that have been sat in there looking at me for while. And I’ve done a great job, plenty of emails sat in my outbox ready to go.

It dawned on my while working that my focus in places like trains and planes is super sharp, I am able to power through work, reporting, emails in half the time it takes me normally. I like many find sometimes it’s just hard to get in the zone, you have a hundred things to do, but find yourself reacting to new stuff coming in, the constant bombardment is relentless.

So that got me thinking about what is going on and it’s a pretty simple answer…

I currently have,

  •      No Internet
  •      No phone calls
  •      No SMS
  •      No IM’s
  •      No app notifications
  •      No one to distract me (apart from the occasional nudge from my other half)

The question I now have is how can I replicate this in my day-to-day work to ensure I am in the zone more often and getting ahead.

Some ideas I have, and in theory, they are quite simple,

Get in the zone – Enable flight mode on my laptop & phone at work (hardcore option)

Sounds extreme in some ways, but if you’re trying to clear down some email and constantly seeing new messages and notifications popping up distracting you, it’s probably the best way to ensure you can completely concentrate.

Put a foot in the zone – Set Outlook to check email less often (a softer approach)

You can set Outlook to check for new emails less often, say once an hour or more, I am going to try this to see how it works.

Stick some headphones in (general rule to live by)

Block out conversations and distracting background noise.

You could also consider doing more work when on your commute if you like I spend time on a train. It’s a bit hit and miss for me if I can get a seat or not, but when I do the 40 minutes I get to focus are golden.

Funnily enough, this post has been written while I’m in the zone on a plane, and I don’t get time to blog that often, maybe I just need more holidays!

Let me know if you give any of this a try and what helps you focus.

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