Productivity through sound and timing

Don’t be slack, take hold of those ‘between interruption’ moments and expand them to become effective periods in the day. Multiply this a few times and before you know it you’re on the road to ultimate productivity!

I wish this were completely true, but read on and i will explain the simple repeatable steps that I’ve been using for years to aid me in my work day.

Noisli & Coffitivity

To work effectively we need an environment that enhances focus and creativity.  A large part of this is having the right background sounds and Noisil and Coffitivity  aim to provide this to improve your focus and boost productivity.   They do this in similar ways by mixing different sounds be that coffee shop chatter, rain, thunder, fire and others to allow you to create your perfect environment.  Sounds interesting! but why and how does it work?

  • According to a peer-reviewed study out of the University of Chicago, “A moderate level of ambient noise is conducive to creative cognition.” In a nutshell, this means being a tiny bit distracted helps you be more creative. view the study
  • research suggests that small doses of distraction  prompt the mind to work at a more abstract level, which is also a more creative level. Wall Street Journal (Creative Buzz)
  • Coffee shops “Just Enough Distraction”—more than a dead-quiet office,…. lift the mind from thinking it’s on a deadline (even if it is), and can often make work seem more fun. Life Hacker

So now you have creative and motivational boosting sounds. But, now you need to harness all that new serene energy; that’s where the Pomodoro Technique comes in.

Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro technique is simple, you can read the book, but below are the guiding principle that will allow you to start straight away.

‘ Work with time – not against it’. For many people, time is an enemy. We all find ourselves racing against the clock to  meet deadlines. So the aim is to work with time, instead of struggling against it and step one is to  eliminate burnout.
 ‘Eliminate Burnout’. You can’t just work non-stop for hours on end without burning out and the answer is simple,  take breaks!  The problem is we don’t, but taking short, scheduled break, will  eliminate burnout and give you control over your work and yourself.
To Pomodoro just follow this simple way of working.
  1. Work for 25 minutes
  2. Have a 5 minute Break
  3. repeat 1 and 2, twice more
  4. Have  a 15 minute break
  5. repeat from 1

Note: Why not use a timer to keep track i like the one by Tomato, as it give you a short history; there are many others.

You could stop here are just repeat the above, but you’d be missing out on the key point to use your time wisely, manage distractions.

Manage Distractions’. It’s all well and good working in the Pomadoro schedule (outlined above ) but unless you take control of email and social media, they will kill your productivity.  The answer, treat them like any other task.  Add email as another task in your to-do list, order according to priority and don’t look at it until its turn to have your attention arrives; don’t let email and social media  demand your attention.  To create your to-do list consider using the Getting Things Done  (GTD), five steps . As you can see 1-3 are just making a list to manage those distractions; email should be, in my opinion, at the bottom of any list.
  1. Capture—collect what has your attention
  2. Clarify—process what it means
  3. Organize—put it where it belongs
  4. Reflect—review frequently
  5. Engage—simply do. (go Pomadoro)
Create a better work / life balance’   So tune your sounds and Pomadoro away for a few days, I’d be surprised if you are not more productive.  That way you can start having fewer  unproductive days, enjoy your job and go home on-time to enjoy your free time.
That the basics, you can use Omnifocus or another tool to manage your lists using more GTD techniques, but for now i advise you to Pomodoro.

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