Deep Work — How to get more done

Getting through a list of important tasks during a day has its own challenges. The major obstacle to getting work done is the constant distraction of messages, be it email, or mobile notifications in the form of SMS alerts, WA messages, etc. The distractions, not only break your flow but also divert you away from important tasks.

Time and again, I have tried to devise ways to overcome these distractions, and while many ruses have failed, I share a few that have helped me to be more productive.

Identify the distraction triggers

Jot down the number of times you got distracted and what caused the distraction. It could be the pop-up of desktop notification, or an SMS alert, a colleague walking by, or someone popping into your cabin. Writing them down helps you to become aware.

Work out the methods to handle the interruptions. Silencing your phone for an interval of time could be one such way. Shutting the cabin door, or having a small Do-Not-Disturb-Genius-At-Work sign on your desk. Anything that will keep them away should be tried.

Plan your work in short intervals, so that you can take a break faster. Instead of working a full 90 minutes, break down the task into three 30 minutes specific tasks, and give yourself a break in between, to check your mail, phone. But keep in mind that you are not to stop what you are doing till your 90 minutes are up. But the intervals will reduce your anxieties of missing out.

Implement a discipline across the team to put work in -My Time, and Our Time, so that interaction in the office does not come to a standstill for interdependent tasks. My Time is when you are working alone and Our Time is when you work on shared tasks or allow interruptions.

What is your way to focus? I am interested to learn too. Do put it as a comment so that others may learn too. And if you think others may benefit from my small post, go ahead and share it.