1. Turn off all notifications. On Mac/PC and phone. Control your dopamine.
2. Delete all non-essential apps. Start over and be ruthless with the ones you actually need.
3. Use a tool like Stack browser to keep everything in one-place.
4. Use a tool like Session to focus and do deep work in segments of time.
5. Have rules for the day i.e. Check emails and slack 11.30, 14.30 and 17.30. Turn off slack / teams or whatever tool. These comms apps are useful BUT drain focus and cause continuous context shifting which doesn’t help. Use HeyFocus to help.
6. Ask your boss each week “what are the top 3 priorities you need delivered?” Yes, yes, yes. People will say “everything is urgent”... but a semi-decent boss will or should give you a steer. Leaders out there if you reply back “everything” you are doing a terrible job. Your role is to protect your team from overwhelm and keep them focused on the really important items. For those struggling with a to do list of 1,000 items this is one way to solve it. Find those top 3 things and deliver on them. Don’t neglect projects, but keep focus.
7. Mix up video zoom calls with walking zoom calls. Or have your camera off for certain meetings. The mental load of being on camera 100% of the time is psychologically damaging.
8. Put an energy refresh session in each day. Say 2pm. Or find when your energy drains. Go do something YOU LIKE. It doesn’t have to be a run etc. But pick something you like doing so it will be easy. I’ve started going for a quick bike ride or reading.
9. End the day with a tomorrow list. Start the day with a visualisation of your story for the day.
10. Control your calendar. Design your week. Reduce internal meetings and interruptions. Don’t let others dictate your productivity.