Productive you

There are plenty of articles that can guide you to be more productive, But this post is the outcome of the actual my actual experiments with different approaches and tools.

First things first.

Find your concentration

First of all, before using approaches and tools, identify what is distracting you from concentrating.

It takes an average of about 25 minutes (23 minutes and 15 seconds, to be exact) to return to the original task after an interruption, according to Gloria Mark, who studies digital distraction at the University of California, Irvine.

So take time to make a list of distractions that breaks your concentration now and then. This list might contain your dinging phone, people moving by you, or anything else that you think is taking your concentration away. Make sure this distractions don’t take your concentration away unless important.

Sometimes it happens you are working on something important and you have a thought that also needs attention, and your mind drifts towards that other thought and then this happens again with another different thought which again does the same. It breaks you from focusing on one thing and keeps your mind swirling between one thought and another.

Here comes our next friend to help us clear thing.

Write down in between thoughts

Do you think it is alright to discard your thoughts of something else, while your are working on whole different thing. I think it is not.

I prefer writing my in between thoughts, so that my mind let me focus on my current task. And as I have jotted down my thoughts in between, I have the ability to think and prioritize those tasks and even discard some of them at a later point of time. But it is a good practice of having a record of your in between thoughts so that you have something to think of when your mind is free from one task.

Here comes our next friend towards productivity.

Use tools that help you track the tasks and thoughts.

Collaboration tools

Collaboration tools help you track the progress of tasks and the current status of overall process. Although its best suited to teams, its really helpful for individuals.

We just talked about writing the in between thoughts, you can use online tools like Trello to make the list of thoughts. Trello also helps you realize the process of your end product. So once you have your list with ideas in the board, you can at any point of time decide if you want to work on this, or want to work on it later, it needs some kind of research or you want to discard it.

Using Trello or any other visualized project management system opens up a birds eye view with eagle’s eyes for you. I will not go into deep how Trello works, but here is simple explanation.

In Trello, there are two thing which we will take into account for our approach. Lists and Cards. Lists are columns which contatins cards. Think of lists as a part of process to realize your ides. And cards are the thoughts/tasks which eventually gets realized.

See the image:

Sometimes a thought has a very large scope and needs to be broken down into smaller pieces. You can even create separate cards with broken down pieces of the actual idea. This helps you concentrate on the smaller part and let you earn the small wins to achieve your goal.

Trello is just an example here, you can use whichever tool you prefer, even a notebook and pencil is enough. The process is important.

Find your corner

The title for this section, is just out from mind. But the concept has strong impact on your productivity.

Choose your place to work, and stick with the place. Do not do other things on your workplace. As of writing this article, most of the developers are working from home. And working from home is good but has an impact on your productivity if you are not able to separate your work and your home.

So, choose your place to work where you can work comfortably. Regularly use the same place and settings to work, it generates you an environment for your work. Studies find that people tend to stay focused for longer durations if they have the maintained environment. Meaning you can create your own work environment. Your mind will automatically let you focus on your work, as it knows that you regularly work in this environment.

Let me know, if the tips were helpful or not.

Thanks for getting until here. This is my very first article. If you like it, please share it. Also let me know if I have made mistakes in the article, I am learning to create the content that can help people.