I had a few minutes to take a quick break today, so I skimmed through some more of the ebook of Quora’s best answers of 2010-2012 that I talked about last week. The answer that jumped out at me this time was from Kah Keng Tay, who is an engineer at Quora. It was in response to the question:
How can you increase your productivity on side projects at the end of the day when you’re tired from work/college?
This is a question that really resonated with me because I have often searched for the answer to that question because not only do I always have ideas and projects that I want to explore, I also have a 125 year old Victorian that I’m slowly remodeling and two young boys. So, I’m definitely busy. Tay had some interesting points, including a couple that I never even considered. I’ll add a few of my own after his list.
For me, some of the most important ways I increase my productivity revolve around minimizing the time it takes me to get back into the flow of a project. Here are the things I do:
- Keep a separate workspace that is always ready to go. I keep my work apps loaded on my sleeping computer and the desk equipped with evreything I need. That allows me to sit down and get started. Not only does having all my work tools at the ready set me up physically, but only using that space for work allows me to slip into the right mindset to get started immediately.
- I keep all distractions turned off when I have limited time. My email client and twitter clients are closed and I set my iOS devices to Do Not Disturb. This allows me to quickly get into my flow without a notification switching my focus and thereby stealing from my productivity.
- I plan what I’m going to work on in advance. If I have to think about what I need to work on when I sit down to work, I’m wasting time. I need to know what I’m going to try to accomplish, so that I can get work done in whatever time I have available.
Between those two lists, I hope you can find something that will boost your productivity. And if you have any tips that you think might make me more productive, I’m always interested in hearing those. Let me know in the comments!