Create Your Focus Bubble


Personal Productivity for Lawyers

This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.

focusbubbleThe wonders of technology are a huge distraction at work—turn things off and tune in to the task at hand.

  1. Close your email. Sometimes waiting for an email is really important. Most of the time, however, you can close your email and check it later—that’s the beauty of email. Shut it down and focus on the task at hand—writing a brief, preparing for a client meeting, etc. If you cannot close your email, at least turn off the annoying sound that accompanies the sound of new mail so you are not constantly being pulled away from the task at hand.
  2. Turn off your cell phone. At a minimum, put your phone on vibrate. That text from your friend about catching drinks is important, but it can wait. Especially if you use a Blackberry, there is no point in turning off your email if your Blackberry is  vibrating every two minutes.
  3. Use one browser for “fun” and another for work stuff. If you use bookmarks of your favorite sites, then do not use that browser for doing research or other work tasks. Use a browser with no bookmarks—and reduce the temptation to click on your Facebook bookmark every three minutes.
  4. Close your door. This can be amazingly effective. Shutting out the background noise makes a huge difference. It also signals to your co-workers you need to get something done—preventing them from asking for that great recipe for pumpkin bread.

These may seem like elementary concepts, but try them out and you might be amazed at how well they work!

17 Ways to Kill Common Distractions | Web Worker Daily

(photo: h.koppdelaney)


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  • Paul H. Burton

    Focus = Productivity. Productivity = Accomplishment. Accomplishment = Success. I’ve worked with hundreds of people on exactly these principles. This post is an excellent start on reducing/eliminating the interruptions and distractions that bombard us all day long. Once you’ve reached that Quiet Space, here are some additional tips for increasing your productivity –

  • Excellent advice! The constant distractions of email and cell phones definitely reduce productivity. Closing your door will also go a long way to decrease interruptions. I also suggest never keeping candy on your desk as that’s an open invitation to stop to chat and when anyone comes into your office DO NOT ask them ‘How are you?’ If you do, you’re inviting them to tell you about their latest cataract surgery etc. Instead, ask ‘What can I do for you?’ so you get right to the point of their visit and reduce the time they’re there.

  • Ken Ammann

    I use these tips and they work. I suggest taking these particular tips further using the Visionmechanix system called “Quietspacing” which expands on the productivity concept of less distraction = focus = more production going out the door. In this age of complexity, sometimes the simple, easy to implement, ideas work wonders.