My Two Newest Productivity Hacks
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Although I’ve never been officially diagnosed, I definitely have some ADD-like tendencies. My mind can quickly jump from one thing to another, and it often takes a lot of effort to work on a project consistently.
I’ve implemented some tools that have helped over the years, such as
- planning my week every Monday with my trailblazers in my membership community where we brainstorm our tasks and schedule them,
- backing up any deadlines by a week or more,
- promising something to someone so I’m sure to get it done (although I can disappoint myself, I certainly can’t not follow through for someone else!), and
- taking advantage of my sit/stand desk.
These have all been great but lately haven’t been enough.
As I do my best to focus my attention on the projects and tasks that support my goals, I need to kick my focus and productivity up a notch.
So I’ve added two more tools to my repertoire: Sneakers and Body Doubling.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw a TikTok video where someone mentioned how they found it easier to focus if they put sneakers on while working from home; that it sent a message of action to their brain.
Despite it sounding a bit far-fetched, I was desperate so I gave it a go. And I gotta say, it works for me, too!
Having owned a virtual business since 2005, I’m no stranger to working from home, but things were much different pre-pandemic. In those days, I would often go to a co-working space or coffee shop to work for a change of scenery and to be around others’ energy.
And while those are options once again, I’m less motivated to go. The lock down periods have really strengthened my inner hermit’s resolve!
Because I work from my home office almost exclusively, I’m used to wearing slippers as I do even if the rest of me is dressed in proper clothes. After all, no one can see my feet on a video meeting.
What I didn’t realize is how less productive I was wearing them. Until I tried the trick from that video.
When I change out of my slippers and into my sneakers, I instantly feel more physically motivated. I feel ready for action; ready for movement; ready to get ish done.
Strange, I know, but if it works, why not? Give it a try! You just might surprise yourself.
Grab a Work Buddy
The next thing I started using is a website called Focusmate. It’s an online place where people looking for support focusing on a particular goal can go and work virtually with someone else, but in silence (if you so choose).
It’s body doubling with a tech twist.
Body doubling is a tool some use to help start and finish a project. Originally, the idea was to invite a friend over or meet up somewhere and work on your task in the presence of someone else while they work on theirs.
It’s related to the idea of an accountability partner, but without the expectation that the other person will hold your feet to the fire. Instead, you are simply working in the company of someone else.
The idea has since morphed to include virtual body doubling, and that is what Focusmate, well, focuses on.
I have been scheduling regular sessions on the website at a time that works with my schedule. Then, the machine behind the magic matches you with someone else who scheduled at that same time.
You simply log on at your scheduled time (or a few minutes before if you want some time to chat with your focus mate) and share with each other what you’ll be working on. You then mute your microphone and away you go!
People use these sessions for desk work, exercise, cleaning the house, etc. Anything and everything! The only catch is you have to stay on camera to keep the co-working vibe alive.
I started doing this just one week ago and after 11 sessions (which are either 25, 50, or 75 minutes each), I am astounded at the difference in my focus and productivity.
Not only am I meeting deadlines, but I’m getting things done in advance. If you know me at all, that’s a true miracle!
If You Want It to Work, Ya Gotta Work It
To design our dream lives, we have to put in the work. I sure wish talking about what we dream of doing would magically make it happen, but alas it doesn’t.
We can envision how we want our life to be but there comes a time when you need a plan and you need to act.
After all, every action you take is a vote for the life you want to have. So where are you casting your ballots these days?
If like me, you want to make some real progress on your vision this year, give these productivity hacks a try.
And then let me know what you think!
Oh, and remember to grab my free workbook, Your Joy Audit, to get an idea of what areas of your life need some attention and how to begin beefing them up.
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