group and block

In today’s times, it has become radically difficult to maintain a laser-like focus, increase our attention span, and beat procrastination. As a direct result, our productivity plummets and it takes longer than expected to complete our tasks and commitments. 

As compared to previous times, when it was easy to simply shut our door and focus on tasks that needed to be completed, today we have devices and dozens of communication access points than ever before — email, blogs, text messages, IMs, Skype, RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, podcasts, etc. — that constantly distract us and steal our attention from our most important tasks.

We have to take control of this. We need to be conscious of where we spend our time, our attention, our energy and what we focus on. 

Here are a couple of techniques that I learned from bestselling author and success mentor Darren Hardy that can help you stay focused and be more productive.

  1. Group: Take all the tasks that are similar, and do them as a group. For instance, when I film videos, I do a couple or more together. When I write in my morning jam session, I group all writing projects together. The basic idea is to have buckets for each activity group. Once the bucket reaches its capacity, you start tackling all the tasks one by one. Since it’s the same skill that you’re using, you build momentum and you power through them more quickly. It’s much better than dealing with them at different time points of your day. That’s why, it’s also good to check email only once or twice a day and to schedule outside appointments on one particular day. Once the similar tasks stack up, it’s time to take action and get them done in one single swoop. Overall, you’ll get less distracted during your work day and you’ll be to knock more tasks in record time. 
  2. Block: Next thing after grouping similar tasks together is to carve out blocks of time to handle them. For example, I block time on my calendar for brainstorming, writing, podcasting, filming videos, and manage my social media and marketing. When you have a block dedicated to a particular group of tasks in your schedule, just do those tasks and nothing else. Wear the proverbial blinders and simply focus on what you have at hand, as if you’re in a one-on-one meeting. In case something urgent beckons your attention, get that task done, and then come back to whatever block you are supposed to be in as per your calendar. 

I hope you enjoyed learning about these two strategies, and they help you become more productive and focused. Implement them immediately so that you start getting maximal results in less time.