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November 22, 2013

Tips - How to Focus and be Productive

In earlier blogs Leveraging Architecture of Success to meet your Goals, Corporate Lessons from Mahabharata & Understanding Human Resources, we talked about Passion for Excellence and importance of Focus.
We would like to share some tips to help people focus and avoid distractions –
  • Get up early say at 5 am – 6 am. Drink 2-4 glasses of water first thing in morning. Water restores energy and helps detoxify body. I read somewhere; most important asset for executives isn’t time – its energy.
  • Start your day with 30-45 minutes of exercise or walk.
  • Start your work day focusing on your most important work. Turn off your emails, digital notifications, reminders and most importantly emails for 60 minutes.
  • Another gem I read was “Maintain a Stop doing list” but more importantly look at it every day and review your day against it.
  • Work in blocks of time. Creative geniuses all had 2 things in common: when they worked they were fully engaged and when they worked, they worked with this deep concentration for long periods of time. Schedule and plan your work in 45-60 minute blocks.
  • Data shows workers are interrupted every 11 minutes. Distractions destroy productivity. Be assertive and protect your time; say no to interruptions.
  • Don't answer your phone every time it rings. Encourage people to drop SMSs instead of leaving Voice Messages. They are faster to look and respond either replying or by calling the sender.
  • Avoid gossip, not only it saves time but also saves you from the pit fall (refer to As an Employee part of blog Managing Performance– I (Handling Disconnect)).
  • Make meetings about actionable items and insist on people having done their homework.
  • Invest in your professional development and creating more value in your work. Schedule time to read, learn a skill and more importantly apply/ practice the knowledge.
  • Schedule every day of your week every before start of the work week. A plan restores focus and provides momentum.
  • Take one day a week as complete recovery day, to refuel and regenerate (that means no email, no phone calls and zero work). You need full recovery one day a week otherwise you'll start depleting your capabilities.
At first go,lot of this may sound idealistic or difficult, I would simply quote Cyrus the Great – (After punishing some renegade commanders) “Here again, I would demonstrate the truth that, in my army, discipline always brings rewards.”
Warm Regards,

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