Have you read the articles about 14 habits of highly productive people? Or 8 things ├╝berproductive people do before breakfast? Or the 7 best productivity plugins for Chrome?

All the tips, tricks, plugins, apps and widgets are useless unless you know what you're doing. More precicely they're useless if you don't know what you need to do and when.

I once read that you should treat your time as if it was worth $1000 an hour. It's quite a predicament to be in. To follow this we should outsource every mundane task that we have. But obviously it's not meant to be literal, most of us couldn't affort it. The meaning of the sentence is that you should focus your efforts and work as effectively as you can on the task you're up against. And how exactly do you go about achieving this?

Simple, stop thinking that you can multitask. You just can't. Here're two examples.

one-at-a-time-please

A) You're writing a blog post, writing an invoice to one client, and sending a quote to another one all at the same time. You jump between the tasks and in the meanwhile also check your Facebook, Twitter & email because something urgent might have happened. An hours has gone by and you're still writing the post, you're half way through the invoice, the quote you haven't even started yet, but you've managed to skip through an article about 14 habits of highly productive people.

B) Now, you write the blog post first, then write the invoice, and finally send the quote. And then, as a reward, check your social media accounts for entertainment purposes. And then you answer the emails you've gotten in the past 40 minutes while you finished all the tasks above.

If you think you'll be faster by doing A, you're deluded. Or you can actually multitask. Either way, I can't help you. But if you're like 99% of the people, B will be a much better choice for you.

Trust me. Give yourself half an hour a day of untinterrupted working time. Only half an hour will make a huge difference. This is what you do before you start the timer. Quit the email program, silence your phone and bury it under some pillows, close the Facebook tab and set out to do three tasks you've set for yourself for that day.

I promise you, those will be the most productive 30 minutes of your day.

February 17th, 2014

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