Focusing on the things I need to be doing is quite hard and I am always trying to lure my monkey brain to actually listen to me and not live a life of its own.
Getting in the flow state is one of the most important things I try to focus on throughout the day.
The flow state is different for all people. For myself I try to define it clearly.
For example, one of these rules can be that I need to be proactive with my email. And strive to reach inbox zero until the end of the day. But there are many other ones out there. Essentially these rules act as my own predefined habits that I like to follow as a response to some cue.
Focusing on what's important
I keep a private Trello board where I outline things that I want to focus on in life and achieve. I try to not work on long periods of time and predict things in advance for over three month and instead work in very short time frames whilist having some end goal(s) in mind of what I ultimately want to achieve. Here is how my Focus Trello board looks:
Things that help me
- I use Focus app to block a particular set of websites for 90 minutes (front pages of Hacker News, Reddit, ..).
- I like to listen to some stimulating music. Lately been enjoying listening to this playlist.
- Working outside from home and changing location often is also something helps me a lot in being productive.
- I also realised that multiple monitors is not so helpful for me after all and I am quite productive with just a macbook.
- I also try to live by my calendar. That is I try to assign blocks of time where I work on certain things and actually follow through and work during these time blocks. There is always something useful that I can be doing and I don't want to waste any mental energy choosing what to do in the moment.
- You can't manage projects. You can only manage actions related to projects.