I often wish I had more than 24 hours in the day. Although obtaining a few extra hours is unfortunately not possible, there are ways to get the most out of the time we do have. These practices have helped me be more productive during the time that I have, and I hope they help you.
One of my greatest allies at my work has been music. As a constant companion, music is always there for me and has contributed endlessly to the work I do.
Whenever I need to concentrate, I put on my earphones and turn to my favorite playlist. It immediately helps me focus on what I am doing. Other times, there are things I don't want to work on because they are tedious or complicated, and I would prefer to put them off and do something else. I fight the urge to avoid or procrastinate by putting in my earphones, and music gives me the energy I need to work on those challenging tasks.
I travel whenever I get the chance. During my trips, I usually work remotely, but at other times I disconnect entirely. Occasionally, just because of the time difference, I do both. What I have discovered from my experiments in travel is how critical distance from the office is for strategic thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. It is during these trips that I have had some of the most important insights for my company.
It is not necessarily the travel that makes the most difference in my work quality, although it helps. What does make the most difference is taking time away from the office to let the mind rest, whether it’s to relax or to do a completely different activity. Deliberate rest during vacation or spending time away from the office in an average week is critical for growth and fulfillment. It is just as important as the actual work that gets done, and it is a practice we need to cultivate.
My flow of work depends on what I have to accomplish. For some tasks, I have to be active and communicative, responding to questions or contributing to a project. During these times, I am moving from one task to the next.
Other times, I need to sit down and focus, shut off the world to get a project done. I find these types of tasks much harder to finish than active decision-making and responses. Writing my blog articles, filling out long application forms, taking notes from the books I read, and creating plans for implementation are all examples of tasks that require diligent focus. My mind tends to wander, and I procrastinate endlessly, so I realized I needed a new approach to help me maintain my focus.