Hodu Solutions

6 ways to plan your day that improves focus and boosts your productivity

There has been no other time in the world where so many people worked remotely.

Photo by Andreas Klassen on Unsplash

In this world of “new normal”, it is difficult to manage your productivity when working from home (WFH). WFH suffers from a lack of a formal structures in place such as an office. You switch from doing office work to cooking to picking up your children from the park. Doing so many things and being interrupted from time to time will obstruct your focus. It will affect your productivity.

It is up to each of us to plug that loss in productivity by engaging ourselves in a ‘flow’ state. Flow state is when your creative juices flow and you do your best work. This is only possible if you know your productive times of the day.

We are equipped with many methods and tools to promote work and increase productivity. But, how do we utilize these tools effectively?

If you hate the words “routine” and “schedule”, this article is especially written for you in mind. There are ways to establish a routine and prepare a schedule so that you will be able to focus according to priorities and deadlines. It will help you manage time effectively and produce the results that you desire.

A quote that is famously attributed to Benjamin Franklin comes to mind. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

You can follow any of the 6 ways below to improve focus and productivity. Today, we have to work smarter to finish various tasks within deadlines. There are so many things to do in so little time. This is where being in ‘flow state’ helps. You will be ‘in the zone’ and churn out one thing after another. The first 4 are applicable if you are working on your own. The last two is useful if you have someone or a work friend to help you.

Ways to improve your focus and productivity by Hodu Solutions
Figure 1-Ways to improve your focus and productivity by Hodu Solutions
  1. Hold yourself accountable. This is a time where most of us are new to working remotely. Start with setting up a time to sleep and to wake up. Use the power of positive reinforcement. When you sleep and wake up at times you have set, treat yourself in the morning. You can slowly extend this to any activity you do.
  2. Use Pomodoro technique to help retain focus and improve productivity. If you have so many things to do on your agenda, pick one project at a time. Use a 30-minute timer to work in smaller chunks. Take one task in one project that you will do for those 30 minutes. This will keep you focused and be effective in completing that work. Once the 30-minute timer runs out, take a break of 2–3 minutes. Repeat up to 4 sessions. Then take a longer break of 20–30 minutes.
  3. Pareto Principle is also called the 80–20 rule, in which Pareto states 80% of the effect comes from 20% of the cause. Pareto observed this phenomenon in nature and in economics. But, this could be applied anywhere. For example, in your work life — 20% of your work will likely produce 80% of the results. It is a great time to get organized and realize which work leads to actual results and which do not. It helps you focus on the work that leads to greater results.
  4. Ivy Lee Method was famously used by Edison and Schwab. This method will help you schedule your work in way that gets you results. Once you know your long-term goals, it helps you to focus on everyday tasks. Each day at the end of your work, list 6 things that you have do the next day. Rank them according to its priority. Next day, start with the work which has the highest rank. Work through them throughout the day. If you have not completed a task, move it to the 6 tasks for the next day. Repeat.
  5. Get an accountability partner. Share your important goals that you need to achieve with a person. This person could be your friend, partner or relative. This person will push you and motivate you when you are slacking or when you are overwhelmed respectively.
  6. Work in a virtual sprint session with a work friend. If you want a setup such as an office while working remotely, ask a work friend to join a ‘virtual work jam’ session. If you want to zone in and work together, start a virtual meeting to work in ‘sprints’. In sprints, you work together on small tasks that you have to complete. You send out an agenda with start time and end time to a work friend who wishes to join you. Once the work is completed, you discuss your learning and feedback from that piece of work. Repeat until the end time.

You can try out some of these methods. It helps you to manage if you have multiple priorities. It keeps you focused and also helps in planning your day effectively.

Thank you for reading.


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