I’m a big fan of productivity hacks. I think productivity is one of the keys to being successful and in my experience all successful entrepreneurs are very efficient with their time. When people ask me about ‘one quick hack’ to improve their productivity – I usually give them this simple, but super efficient method that worked for me personally as well as for many of my close friends.
First, let’s think about what makes people unproductive. There are a lot of different things including not being able to prioritize accordingly, poor ‘calendar’ skills and not automating tasks that can be easily automated. However, the biggest productivity killer that I usually see is distraction. We constantly getting pulled into a lot of different directions and ADHD pretty much became a standard in our days. The worst part about this is that most of the distractions we create ourselves. Think about how much time you spend on non-important stuff during your work day. Facebook, Twitter, instant messages, news, weather, sports, hot deals, online games – all of this drains our time and makes us unproductive.
Here’s a simple process to eliminate most of this:
- Next time you open up a tab in your browser – you have an option to show ‘quick links’ – sites that you visit the most. This functionality is default in Google Chrome and Firefox. You should see 8 (9 in FF) websites that you go to the most.
- Identify websites on this list that should not be a part of your work day. Social networks, news, all your hobbies – everything that you don’t need during your work day.
- Install a browser extension that allows you to block certain websites for a given time frame. Here’s the one that I use for Chrome.
- Identify days and time in each day where you want to be the most productive. For example for me it’s Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.
- Add the rules to the extension for all the websites from p.2. Now you won’t be able to access them during these times.
- Repeat these steps each month. Because you won’t be going to these websites that often anymore – you will see other websites on this list that you might want to ban during your productive time.
- See how much more productive you become.
Although it’s a very simple strategy, it can be super powerful. At first you’ll be very annoyed by these blocking messages, but that’s the whole idea. Over time you’ll stop even trying go to these time-drainer websites and you’ll clearly separate your work time and fun time.