5 (more) tips to eliminate distractions, get more done to feel happier and satisfied at the end of the day

What if you could get easily more done in less time AND you felt happy and satisfied at the end of your 8 hour day that you’ve truly given it your all and done your best work …stress man desk

Fantasy, you say?

Sure … because here’s how it really looks:

Your day starts out at a jog or maybe even a sprint and you’d swear you’ve run a marathon by the end of the day (and you haven’t even left your building OR your office).

“Yes, but … I’m very productive … ” you say, with an air confidence in your voice.

Yes, but …

I’ve heard it all from highly successful executive coaching clients  and you, too may believe you can get it all done in 10 or 12 hours, but are you truly doing your best work and feeling satisfied at the end of the day?

Here are a few more questions to ask yourself (and answer honestly, please):

Who in your personal life or family loses out because you want to “do just one more thing” before you leave the office and you end up getting home too late more than once a week?

Does just looking at your never-ending- to-do list cause your stress level to rise?

Congratulations, your very human (and limited) brain is raising a white flag … the question is, do you notice and do something about it or ignore the stress, hoping it goes away?

If you are paid to think … here are 5 tips to make the highest and best use of your PFC (pre-frontal cortex) which is the part of your brain that got you your job or your last promotion … and hopefully continues to work well enough with some TLC so you can keep it.

Primarily your PFC is responsible for:

  • Avoiding distraction and staying focused
  • Deciding between two options
  • Reasoning or comparing two things
  • Understanding another’s position
  • Learning new concepts

Here are 5 (More) Simple Strategies you can use to make small changes that can have a HUGE payoff only if you:

  • TAKE ACTION by picking one or two and practice for a full week
  • Decide what will be your evidence that “it works!”
  • Document your positive change along the way

Understanding is overrated — Action will get you somewhere else!

5 Brain-Friendly Tips So You Can Be Satisfied You’ve Done Your Best Work At The End of The Day:

1. Avoid noise distractions.  If your office is a revolving door or worse, a cubicle farm, use headphones and listen to lyric-free music to increase your focus and eliminate distractions.  Here’s some examples at http://300hrs.com for classical ideas or http://www.menshealth.co.uk/healthy/brain-training/boost-your-office-productivity-with-music

2. Turn off ALL text/email/social media notifications on your phone and computer.  Notifications are a fear trigger for our brain that leads you to believe “PAY ATTENTION or YOUR’E GONNA MISS OUT!”  It’s probably not that critical.  Really.  Set a time (preferably after you have completed the first one or two most important things on your to-do list) to check your email and respond to the top 5 most urgent (and NO they aren’t all urgent!), giving yourself a time limit (30 minutes) to respond to email.   Then get back on track with your next to-do!

3.  Manually manage your time.  If you spend too much time on not so productive activities, or have difficulty transitioning from one part of a task to the next (or doing research on “how to” do X and not begin to do X), time may be the issue.  Take a “to do” from your list and PUT IT IN YOUR CALENDAR blocking out the time you believe it will take as if it were an appointment you would keep with someone else.  Set a timer for 5 minutes less than the actual time (if it’s a 30 minute appointment, set a timer for 25 minutes, then when it goes of for 5 minutes more.  The 25 minute alarm is “time to wrap up” and get to a stopping place, for now!

4.  Be accountable to someone other than yourself.  Put your calendar (what I’m working on today list) up where others can see it (on your door, in the break room on a Google group calendar).  Not that anyone really cares, or will check on you (but then again you never know).  However, the brain friendly tip leverages your social brain so you will naturally hold yourself more accountable for showing up at the meeting you scheduled with yourself in #3.

5. Take a few 5 minute breaks.  If you can’t do something for 5 minutes … you have bigger problems.  Schedule in 5 minutes and hour at the busiest time of day to walk, stretch, play, gossip, daydream, listen to lyric full music or play a quick game of Angry Birds or Solitare.  Set a timer for yourself … this brief break will help recharge your PFC, your spirit and help you get in touch with solutions so you can disengage thinking brain and open up your eyes to your intuitive solutions that are just waiting there for you to STOP THINKING SO HARD so it can present it self … and you will notice!

For more tips so you can become a Sustainable built to last Leader – Enter in your name and best email in the opt in box on your right for a FREE one hour video “7 Simple Strategies to Eliminate Stress” AND be the first to receive upcoming articles, programs and resources from Christina!

What are your favorite tips to be more productive, happier and fully satisfied you’ve done your best work at work?  Feel free to post your comments below.

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About the Author Christina

Christina Haxton is the Chief Potential Officer & Founder of The Center for Sustainable Strategies, a business strategy & executive advisory company, assisting technology and life science entrepreneurs, business owners & CEOs to build a strong, purpose-driven company, achieve sustainable growth & avoid burnout. Contact Christina at (970) 387-8935 or christina@sustainable-leaders.com to inquire about speaking, training, coaching and consulting solutions for yourself or your company.

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