I am huge fan of time blocking, which is the act of setting aside specific times in the day or week to focus on only one activity at a time. The intention is that if you focus on one thing at a time and do it well, you will be much more productive. In his book, The One Thing, Gary Keller discusses the ineffectiveness of multitasking, suggesting that we may lose up to 30% of our time transitioning from one project to another. This is not to say that we are unable to bounce back and forth between things quickly – we can. What Keller is implying is that it is challenging to return to the deep cognitive thinking we were doing before we “bounced out”.
Based only on my experience, I have come to realize there are two additional factors that can have a major impact on my focus and productivity: maximizing performance and finding my flow. Coach Dar is my performance coach, and she has brought both of these to light during our sessions.
Dar mostly works with professional athletes and bigwig CEOS, focusing on maximizing performance. I have asked her to help me maximize my creative time when I am working on content for my new brand and upcoming books. My assistant, Janine, has been amazing in scheduling and protecting my “Content Time”. In other words, everything is in place except for the execution.
Yeah, that guy I see in the mirror every morning is the problem. All the tools are lined up, so I have no excuse. To be honest, I sometimes find myself avoiding what I need to work on. I hate admitting that. I still get a ton done and love writing, but it is challenging at times to get started.
Here is what we have been figuring out…
Throughout the day, there are different times when people feel most productive; for example, certain individuals may get more done during the morning, while others work better in the evening. Historically, I felt I should be able to suck it up and dig in at any time (usually, I can). However, I now believe there is a time of day when I am much stronger with creativity. I seem to be a creative machine if I wake up at 5:00 a.m. and start working an hour later. I can really find my groove then.
Finding the groove, or flow, is my second realization. Once I am in a creative groove, I can go “heads down” for several hours. I am learning to embrace the flow because once I am in it, it is much easier to stay in it. The flow becomes a torrent! I am finding great value in blocking large chunks of time to focus on the task at hand. If, for example, I had only set aside an hour, it might not have been enough time or as productive.
To maximize your time, ask yourself the following questions:
- What time of day am I most productive? Does it match with my time blocking?
- Can I double down on my time blocks to maximize the time I am in the groove?
Having trouble finding your flow? Interested in increasing your productivity? We can help with that! Reach out to us today to learn more.