You start a task.
But, then you get distracted. Or interrupted. Or whatever.
Before you know it, you are doing everything but the task you intended to do.
Can you stay on the task-at-hand long enough to finish it?
Great Productivity, Great Distractions
The productivity tools we have at our disposal these days are truly amazing. You can run your business from a device that fits in the palm of your hand, and you can accomplish this feat from almost anywhere on the planet.
Yet, with great productivity power comes great distractions.
With your gadgets, you can also receive immediate communications from anyone anywhere. You can read endless news stories. And you browse limitless images, videos, and information.
You turn on your phone with good intentions, but then have wasted 30 minutes checking email, reading Facebook, or surfing YouTube.
With so much tempting distraction, how can you actually concentrate on your work for more than a few moments?
Set Time Limits for Your Tasks
Staying on task takes discipline. It also takes practice.
One of the best ways to train your productivity concentration is to time your tasks. In fact, you should designate a time limit for each task.
To keep you on task, set a timer for 5, 10, or even 30 minutes for the item you are trying to complete.
Here are just a few tasks which are good candidates for time limits:
- Process Your Email Inbox for 15 minutes
- Do several small tasks from your todo list for 10 minutes
- Read a book for 20 minutes each day
- Plan Your Day for 15 minutes
- Squeeze in a workout for 45 minutes
A timer sets a mental expectation that you can and will stay on your designated task.
Here are a 5 Ways that Setting a Timer Can Drive Your Productivity:
- Provides a Singular Focus – A timer sets the expectation that for this window of time, you are going to work on only one thing. Stay on task until the timer is done. Then, you can do other things.
- Instills Discipline – Can you stick with a task? Even for 10 minutes? Or even 5? Make it a challenge, a game if you must. But, don’t give up on the task until the timer limit is up.
- Drives Productivity – Tasks expand to fit the time you give them. If you only allot 20 minutes for that expense report, you will be amazed how quickly you will assemble things.
- Builds Momentum – For tough or unappealing tasks, a timer provides a bite-sized way to get started. You can get started with even 20 minutes of that research project, right? Once you get in motion you will want to continue your progress.
- Blocks Interruptions – Use your timer to stop interruptions before they get started. Whether it is a ringing phone, text message, or person at your door, it can wait until after your timer. You can say, “I have 15 more minutes on this task, can you please come back after that?”
Stay on Time and Stay on Task
Timers scare away procrastination.
And time limits keep you on task and increase your productivity.
It does requires discipline. You will need to resist the temptation to use your smartphone for entertainment and other diversions.
Stay on your timer until your work is done, and then you can do other things.
Question: Do you use a timer to drive your productivity? How do you stay on task? You can leave a comment by clicking here.