The Real Enemy of Flow

The biggest obstacle, the main villain hampering our productivity is always in your hands, and rarely in your pockets. _It’s your smartphone. It needs to be powered off for some time. Your laptop, clamouring for attention, is not helping either. Remove all distractions and notifications so that you can get in the ‘flow’ mode.

Creating friction between us and the open black hole of the online distractions helps us focus on work.

@franciscoaw46

Time Management

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Learn To Use Procrastination

The desire to procrastinate is a healthy brain craving, a natural need for novelty and curiosity. We must stop the negative self-talk we have towards us not working as a machine all the time. The leisure ‘do nothing’ time is extremely important for the brain's creative juices to start flowing.

Our feeling guilty and ashamed will only hinder our progress.

  1. Observe the need to procrastinate, recognizing and being aware of your desire. This is called meta-recognition and is what all the Gurus keep talking about when they speak about awareness.
  2. Label and accept your urge to waste your time, but without any negative judgement.
  3. Validate your urge to procrastinate, increasing your self-esteem.
  4. Approach procrastination as a friend, not as a threat.

To eliminate distraction, we need to find where we start doing it.

Often it’s when we are organizing and doing the prep work, the stuff required for us to start working. Getting yourself organized in a timed way (about 5 minutes) helps us deflect any possible entry point of distraction.

This is the holy grail of productivity when your mind is in high gear. As it is hard to summon at any time, we need to cultivate a routine, along with a system for keeping you consistent with your deep work. To get started on a deep work routine, you need to:

  1. Decide on a consistent time for the deep work.
  2. Start small, and gradually expand it.
  3. Eliminate distractions during that time.
  4. Track your progress and reward yourself on accomplishing your daily routine.
  1. Bet your friend that you will complete something at a set deadline or will pay him something out of your pocket.
  2. Go to a cafe with your laptop and no charger, and see yourself getting focused automatically.
  3. While working from your home office, remove the TV from your work area.
  4. Get your trusted family members to change your social media passwords, and only give them to you once your assignment is complete.

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RELATED IDEAS

  • Procrastinating on tasks—both small, nagging ones and large, challenging ones
  • Boring work that needs just to get done
  • Responding to email and other messages while working
  • Staying motivated and energized throughout the entire work day
  • Focusing and finishing the most important projects on their plates
  1. Focus on most important tasks first
  2. Cultivate deep work
  3. Keep a distraction list to stay focused
  4. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to identify long-term priorities
  5. Use the 80/20 rule
  6. Break tasks into smaller pieces
  7. Take breaks
  8. Make fewer decisions
  9. Eliminate inefficient communication
  10. Find repeatable shortcuts
  11. Learn from successes as well as mistakes
  12. Plan for when things go wrong
  13. Work before you get motivated or inspired
  14. Don’t multitask
  15. Fill the tank — recharge
  16. Sharpen the axe
  17. Manage your energy (not just time)
  18. Get better at saying “no”

Laura Earnest of Whole Life Productivity  had this to say on the importance of prioritization as a productivity habit:

“Let me say that I distinguish between efficient and effective, but that both are needed for peak productivity. Efficient is doing things right and effective is doing the right things. So the most productive people work on the high value tasks, making sure that how they are doing those tasks is the best way.

1

IDEA

Your interpretation of failure is preventing you from working.

Typical behaviours:

  • You accept distractions because you already lost, but then think things will eventually fix themselves.
  • You feel people are mad at you or don't understand your limited position.
  • You slack in other areas because you think one loss justifies failing in other areas.

Solution: When you failed, you did not understand how much you actually learned. Take a day off to stop thinking.

The more enjoyable a task, the less we procrastinate on it. 

Boring tasks are more likely to lead to procrastination than difficult ones, that's why we keep postponing all the busywork (work that keeps us busy but has little value in itself.)

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