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This time last year, I found myself using my iPhone for just about everything. It was my e-reader, my preferred way to handle emails, my TV, and so much more. My phone was no longer just a tool, but a digital environment in which I spent large amounts of time.

As I used my phone more and more, I realized that it was starting to negatively impact my life. I was spending so much time glued to my screen that I was foregoing regular exercise, socializing with friends in person, and even falling behind on work. It was time to do something about it.

Step 1: Decide a primary use for the Phone

I was using my phone for everything, but it was time to plan an approach that would turn my iPhone into a tool to enhance my life, not avoid it. Since my phone felt like its own space, it made more sense to me to think about it as an extra room in my house. What did I want this spare room to be? Did I want it to be a gym? Did I want it to be a library? A black room to develop photos?

I ended up going with a wellness center. Which meant making my iPhone the epicenter of everything relating to my physical and mental health. Whatever you decide the primary purpose of your phone will be, the important thing is to decide.

According to Daniel Kahneman's book Thinking Fast and Slow, by deciding how you would like to act in certain environments and taking the proper steps to make that happen. You can use the human tendency to automatically react to environmental cues to your favor.

Of course your phone will not only serve one single purpose. After all, it can do it all. The point is to be more deliberate about how, when, where and for what purposes you use your phone.

Step 2: Identify Time Wasting Apps

In order to get myself to a point where I was using my phone in the way I wanted to, I first had to figure out what apps I currently spent the most time with. I always had a hunch that I was using Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube a bit too much. But I never really saw it as a problem, until I looked at exactly how much time I was spending on each app every single day. Let me show you how I figured it out, follow me.

Settings -------> Battery ------> Battery usage -------> 7 Days ------> Clock Icon

Now looking at "time on screen" what app is your biggest time sink? Is it Reddit? Is it Instagram? Oh. It was something else entirely? Before we go any further, a couple of other points to consider when reviewing your app usage this way...

Battery efficient apps

By default the apps on this screen are ordered by what percentage each took in battery consumption. So definitely scroll down the list to see what time draining apps might be hiding further down.

How you use an app matters

While the Battery Usage menu gives you an idea of what apps you are spending time with. It doesn't tell you how you are using the apps. For example you might use YouTube to watch exercise videos at the gym, Instagram to run business development, Twitter as part of customer support, the list goes on. Keep these special use cases in mind when looking at your results.

Step 3: Remove Time Wasting Apps

No matter how much I would like to tell myself that there is some productive use for having Reddit on my phone (trust me I've tried). Reddit and a lot of other apps like it are great forms of relaxation. There is nothing wrong with relaxing, we actually need plenty of it in order to function at our best. The issue for me however was having one touch access to these apps. Seeing apps like YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter on the first page of my home screen was subconsciously telling me that instead of whatever I should be doing, it was instead a better idea to just relax, even if it was just for a minute...

It was NEVER just for a minute.

Studies conducted by psychologists from Stanford and Yale confirm that certain objects in our environment can directly influence our decisions. The results also discovered that even pictures of these objects can have the same influence. The study explains that more than the object itself, the connotations that people have about the object, can influence decision making. App icons are just pictures representing activities but think about the attached connotations… When we are exposed to apps representing entertainment an/or procrastination daily on our phones, how do you think they will influence our decisions?

Going back to Step 1, think of what you said you wanted the primary purpose of your iPhone to be. Now remove as many time wasting apps as you can that are not aligned with that. While completely uninstalling all highly addicting apps from your phone is the best case scenario. Just removing some of them from the first page of your home screen will help a lot. You are basically removing the visual trigger that is the app icon itself, which will lead to a significant reduction in the amount of times you open up an app.

Step 4: Turn off notifications

Turning off notifications is the best thing you can do for the highly addictive apps that do stay on your phone. For instance I feel completely comfortable leaving Instagram installed on my phone, because I have removed it from the first page of my home screen and I have disabled all of its notifications that used to hook me into opening up the app.

However, Instagram is not the only app to use notifications to hook users. It's a really common practice across all of the most addictive apps. In his best selling book Hook, Nir Eyal details just how companies design their products to be highly addictive. The tl;dr is that notifications are the key to getting users to spend ungodly amounts of time in an app. So with that in mind. Let's open up

Settings --> Notifications

and pick out the apps that you know utilize notifications to tempt you into using them. Once you are inside a specific app's notification page. You have some flexibility as to how strict you want to be. The best case scenario is to completely disable all notifications. But you might have some reasons for allowing some types of notifications to go through. Definitely experiment as to what works best for you.

Step 5: Put it away

After devoting a month to building better habits around how I use my phone. I'm now at a point that whenever I'm engaging with work, a hobby, or the people I love, my phone is usually off and out of sight. Studies have proven that even while not in use, just seeing your phone can have a cognitive strain, not allowing you to fully engage with your environment. Of course it's not always feasible to turn your phone off and put it away when working, out with friends etc. Below are two tricks that I've used when I absolutely "need" to have access to my phone.

Retro Phone:

If you need to use your phone for work, I highly recommend you turn your display to Greyscale. It's really discouraging to use your phone for distractions when the screen is in black and white.

Vacation Mode:

If you've taken a vacation abroad recently without buying a 4G connection of some kind. You know first hand the power of having your phone but without all the distractions of a mobile internet connection. Why not bring this level of (dis)connectedness when we are back home? Think of how much more you will get out of life by really engaging 100% with every moment.

Next time you are going to spend some quality time with friends or family. Think about putting your phone in airplane mode, or even leaving your SIM card behind altogether. Don't worry you will still be able to Snapchat, Instagram, and much more. Most social media apps save your outgoing post and upload automatically when you are back online.

Like most articles on the web, I'm not really telling you anything new or groundbreaking here. To be honest all of us, with any kind of problems, know exactly what we should do to solve them. It's just a matter of taking action.

I hope that this article acts as a catalyst for you to set up a better relationship with how, when, where and for what purposes you use your iPhone. If you haven't already, please checkout the books and studies I used to write this article. Lastly, if this article made your life better in any way, please share it with two other people in your life that you think might benefit from the message.

Now close this tab and go outside or something ;)

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I was young (6 months younger to be exact), I was stupid (well, stupider), and I unknowingly left my MacBook Pro in the backseat of my car.

As I rushed off to catch a show, the last thing on my mind was common sense. After an amazing set, my ears still ringing from Local Natives finishing with Sun Hands, I discovered that my car had been broken into.

A few days later after all the insurance paperwork had been taken care of, it finally hit me that I needed a new computer. This was...

Great news!

For months now, I had been pouring over iPad Pro reviews, going to the Apple Store to hold the new MacBooks, and customizing Surface Pro 4s on the Microsoft site. Although, because my tried and true MacBook Pro was still running fine, this was all just window shopping. But now, a thief had changed my situation…and I was in the market for some new technology.

If you are are considering replacing your laptop with an iPad Pro, this post is for you....

A Shortcut to My Heart

From day one, I was pleasantly surprised by how well keyboard shortcuts are supported by iOS. It made the transition from my Mac to the iPad Pro that much easier. Here are my most used keyboard shortcuts on the iPad Pro.

command + tab

My most used shortcut for quickly switching between apps

command + spacebar

This brings up Spotlight Search and Siri App suggestions which are super useful if I need to open an app that's not already in the task switcher.

command + h

This is the shortcut that takes me to the home screen. I mostly use it when I have finished a Pomodoro session, as a way to visually show myself that it's time to take a break.

In-App Shortcuts

For almost every app that I use now, it's always a good call to press and hold the command key to check what in-app shortcuts are available. Here are some of my favorite app-specific keyboard shortcuts.

Safari: command + n

While nothing out of this world for mac users...having two safari tabs running side by side is amazing!

Pages: command + shift + w

Word Count...a writer's best friend? I use this shortcut to bring up and hide word count. When I'm in a writing flow state, I quickly get rid of word count to increase focus. Then when it's time to edit, the shortcut allows me to swiftly bring it back.

Slack: command + shift + m

Like many other teams that are spread around the globe, at focus booster we rely heavily on Slack. This keyboard shortcut quickly lets me run through all of my @ mentions to stay on top of things.

Gestures

Alongside keyboard shortcuts, I also really like to use the following multi-touch gestures to move around iOS.

Slide Over

Since I currently run focus booster inside a safari tab, I often use slide over to quickly glance at how much time is left in my Pomodoro session.

Four Finger Gesture

When the keyboard is tucked away, and I want to switch between apps, the four finger swipe is my go to.

Two Finger Cursor Mode

I think of this as the iPad's secret trackpad. When manipulating text, you can pull two fingers down to move the cursor around as if you were using a trackpad on a Mac. I use this feature the most when I'm in editing mode.

What a Camera

Compared to traditional computers that lack a rear facing camera my iPad Pro 9.7" features such a high fidelity camera that it allows me to use my computer in brand new ways.

The app that I frequently use the most with the camera is Scannable. As a student, Scannable lets me quickly digitize any physical handouts I may get in class so that they are never lost. Scannable has also saved me hundreds of dollars on textbooks.

Every two weeks I make the journey to the campus library to check out all of my textbooks and scan the chapters that I need. With the auto page detect feature in Scannable, scanning multiple chapters is a breeze. From there I export a PDF of the scanned chapters to my preferred PDF reader Notability

The Apple Pen is mightier than the sword

When reading, I learn best when I highlight, draw arrows, make diagrams, and write commentary directly on the text. With the Apple Pencil and Notability, I can do just that with anything from scanned textbooks, documents, and even websites. No longer needing to print anything out to annotate is just amazing and very environmentally conscious.🌎

While I use the Apple Pencil the most when reading, I also use it a lot in lectures. I used to take notes exclusively using a keyboard (I type fairly fast). But after coming across study after study showing that longhand note-taking leads to better retention of information compared to note-taking on keyboards I decided to switch to good ole pen and paper myself.

Before the Apple Pencil, this meant carrying a bulky Moleskine notebook and hoping that I would get around to digitizing the notes at a later point. But now the notes go directly into my app of choice.

My three favorite Apple Pencil enabled note taking apps are:

Apple Notes

This is my default app for note taking as it provides the most fluid writing experience with the Apple Pencil. I use it the most for brainstorming sessions and while I'm at conferences.

Notability

Is my go-to app for taking class notes, because of how easy it is to markup PDFs with the Apple Pencil. Especially useful for classes that provide a PDF of the lecture slides ahead of time. In the dark times before the Apple Pencil, I used to have to print out these slides ahead of time. Now I quickly download them as the lecture is starting. Being a great student has never been so easy!

Evernote

This is where I have kept my personal journal for many years. The integration with the Apple Pencil is not as smooth as the previous two apps, but it's good enough.

Smart Keyboard

The Smart Keyboard provides the best typing experience I have ever encountered. Typing on it feels like something in between popping bubble wrap and typing on a mechanical keyboard. Oh, and the sound it makes… is just perfect.

I hesitate to call the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil "accessories," because they are so critical to the iPad Pro experience. These "accessories" are what really make the device what it is. One has to question the thinking behind Apple's decision not to include these items in the box of every iPad Pro.

Tradeoffs

Here are a few more things Apple dropped the ball with when it comes to the iPad Pro.

Charging the Apple Pencil

Even though the Apple Pencil is by far my favorite part about the iPad, I've never felt dorkier with an Apple product than when I'm charging the Apple Pencil directly from the iPad Pro's lightning port.

It might be because of my constant use of the pencil, or it might be from the tiny battery stuffed inside its cylindric body, but the Apple Pencil always needs to be charged. My workaround to avoid being the guy with an Apple Pencil sticking out of his iPad is...an Apple Pencil charging dock. Yup, it's a thing, and it's on my Amazon wishlist.

Lack of Mouse Support

I had let this one go for a while, accepting the fact that the big A needs some separation in their product line. Or that mice were so early 2000s? But when the iPad Pro Samsung Edition, err I mean Galaxy Tab S3 was announced recently. I remembered that Android allows users to connect mice. I don't see Apple allowing mouse support anytime soon, but one can hope, right?

Desktop Browser Support

In a perfect world, every website would be able to run flawlessly on mobile. This is not that world. There are three kinds of crappy websites in the world.

1) "I sort of work"

This kind of website may not give you the "full experience" that one is used to. But no worries a simple press and hold on the Safari refresh button quickly converts the website to desktop view.

2) "I sort of work, but I hate Apple"

This kind of website does not play nice with Safari at all. For these, it's time to launch chrome in desktop mode. This usually fixes the problem.

3) "Hey, you coming to my Y2K party?"

These (usually older) websites require launching Puffin browser. Which tunnels me into chrome running in a virtual machine. Puffin deeply integrates with iOS and allows me to upload files directly from iCloud Drive.

It's All Good Baby Baby

Even with the setbacks, nobody is perfect after all; the iPad Pro remains my favorite computer of all time. Actually, at this point, it has transcended "computer." It truly just feels like a blank canvas that can transform into just about anything.

Just don't leave it in the back of your car.

Thank You!

First of all, thank you for making it to the end of this article. Each of you makes it possible for me to continue writing about productivity.

As always If you liked what you read, please share this with two people in your life who also enjoy the masochistic ritual that is procrastinating on work by reading about how other people work.

Also a big thank you to CGP Grey and Mike Hurley for inspiring me to give the iPad Pro a shot. Check out their podcast on being productive while self-employed.

Lastly, I want to announce that the much-requested iOS version of focus booster is just around the corner! Click here to find out more! 🎉

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Do you spend hours researching something to save a few bucks?

Do you craft and recraft that perfect email to send to a recipient who just skims it?

I used to have plenty of perfectionistic qualities, and you know what?

They held me back.

I would ride around the block to ensure I used my entire allocated workout time, despite already reaching my goal. I would remake the bed after my husband; you can just imagine how that went down! I would spend too much time needlessly perfectly formatting a spreadsheet that only I was going to use!!

I know, crazy.

But even crazier is, I am not the only one.

Are you crawling around dusting the baseboards every week too? Creating endless lists of cleaning that only stresses you out because you can never get to it all? Compulsively filing your emails or documents? Please tell me you didn't spend 3 hours looking for cheaper flights to save $10 (on a $1000 flight)?

You can work on something so much that the value you gain from doing it begins to drop in comparison to the time you spent on it. That is known as the law of diminishing returns.

You need to learn to value your time.

So, today we break free from perfection and embrace good enough.

Value your time

One thing I’ve learned in the last few years is how much my time is worth.

Owning a business will do that to a person.

Bonus for me is that I am also a Productivity and Health Coach, so I get the added reinforcement of helping other people to evaluate what their time is worth, and ensuring they use it to change their lives positively.

I have become pretty adept at thinking about what my time is worth. Now I think before making something an A+ when an A- will suffice.

You too, fellow perfectionist, can take this approach. And this is how you get started...

Think about your time as money. You will quickly see what matters to you. The 3 hours you spent saving $10, it ended up costing you in the end.

Start by using the Profit Goals formula to see how much your time is worth per hour. When you know exactly how much you need to make every hour to survive, you will be sure to use your time to your advantage!

Understand where your time goes

If you think you are wasting time on needless perfection, it is time to find out just how much...

Use the focus booster app and note down how long things are taking you. Then it is time to take it to the next level, start scheduling sessions for tasks to keep you on track and do your best to stick to that planned schedule.

Over the course of a week, monitor your progress. Focus on delivering to the quality of good enough. No more perfecting spreadsheets and writing thank you emails.

When you get the hang of this you will notice you are achieving a lot more in a day, not having to work nights, even generating more revenue.

Now you have a better understanding of where your time goes, here are a few areas where you can afford to be 'good enough';

Research

We all want to make sure we get the best deal.

We read reviews, check the specifications, hunt for discounts...

However, we have all fallen down the rabbit hole of research and online shopping. Calculate if it is worth your time to conduct extensive, bullet-proof research. Put it this way; a car, maybe; a new box of washing detergent, no.

One of my clients once took weeks to place her first online grocery order because she wanted her list to be perfect. She didn't shop in the store like that. She lost all the time savings of online shopping when she fell into that black hole of time wasting.

If you have a Virtual Assistant, ask them to do some of your research. Example: I have mine research office supplies and equipment, saving me precious time but ensuring we get the right product and the best price.

Emails

It’s an email, not the Constitution.

I’m not saying be unprofessional, rude or overly short, but think about it this way... if you spend 10 seconds, six times a day just sending 'thank you, I received your email' responses, you lose 6 hours out of your life every year.

Emails also do not need to be literary masterpieces.

  • Keep them short. Don't overburden the recipient with too much information or too many requests.
  • Put your request, action or question at the beginning of the email. Otherwise, it might be missed.
  • Be clear.

It is also important that you don't abuse email. Stop sending multiple one line emails every day. If you are regularly compiling emails for particular people, keep it in a draft and add to it throughout the day. Both you and the recipient will be glad for the reduction in inbox clutter.

If you work as part of a team, set guidelines around your email communication; like keep them short, no need to acknowledge receipt, minimum chit chat etc. At least then you set expectations that you aren't being rude, just efficient :)

Housework

Do you have palpitations when you see crumbs on your coffee table? Are you constantly pottering trying to keep everything in a state of perfection? Do your clothes drawers look like a display table at Gap?

I used to clean my entire house every week, but a few years ago I realized I was spending my time cleaning rooms we rarely use. It was a struggle at first, but I broke the habit.

There is a difference between a healthy level of cleanliness and having dog hair all over the sofa. You can be neat and clean, without disinfecting every surface weekly.

If you minimize clutter, you will immediately make your home look cleaner. Splitting your cleaning tasks, so you complete half the clean one week, and half the next is a good way to save a couple of hours a week. If you are in the position to and you have the ability to relinquish control over your cleaning, then maybe hiring a cleaner might give you the headspace you need.

I have a House Manager once a week for three hours. She cleans, does my laundry and prepares and chops vegetables for me. It saves me time and money (in takeaway) and ensures I have no excuse not to eat healthily.

Is this the right approach for you?

I don’t recommend the good enough approach with all of my clients, but if you tend to get sucked into rabbit holes or feel that your rigid perfectionism holds you back, then this might just be for you! Make small changes and see how you feel.

What do you do now that you could probably turn to good enough?

This post was written by our friend and avid focus booster user, Marcey Rader. She is the founder of the Work Well. Play More!® Institute (WWPMI) and Marcey Rader Coaching. WWPMI is disrupting the status quo of ill health and reactive behaviors by empowering teams to eat for energy, find movement opportunities to increase creativity, efficiently control the inexhaustible inbox and best manage their time so they can Work Well and Play More!® Marcey is the bestselling author of two books and hosts a webinar called How to Boost Your Productivity Without Working Harder.

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Can’t get started on that thing you know you need to do? It sounds like you are putting it off to me.

No one wants to admit to being a procrastinator. It has a reputation for holding you back, preventing you from being creative and efficient.

That’s right; we have all heard it… procrastination is bad. There are countless blogs and infographics on how to beat it, surefire ways to conquer procrastination, hacks to teach you how to start working (finally!).

Procrastination is formally avowed the arch-nemesis of productivity.

Or is it?

Amongst all the busyness and need for productivity, when do our brains get to take a break to incubate ideas? We all need a lazy day, now and then.

Why not let your inability to get started work in your favour? There is scientific proof that harnessing procrastination in the right context can make you more creative, imaginative, innovative, less stressed and more focused.

So, here are some reasons to make friends with procrastination.

Boost imagination

In his book The Adweek Copywriting Handbook, legendary copywriter and role model Joseph Sugarman suggests the method of generating ideas he calls "incubation process": think of a problem, then postpone it, and do something pleasant instead.

Such a paradox, delaying a task, can help find the best solution. Sugarman is not alone in his support of this tactic.

Jihae Shin, Professor at the University of Wisconsin, designed an experiment to prove the most creative ideas come after procrastination. She asked people to come up with business ideas: one group shared ideas immediately, while another group was asked to play a simple computer game for 5 minutes before sharing their idea.

The procrastinators’ ideas were 28% more creative.

Improve memory

Back in 1927, psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik discovered people remember tasks that they have mentally marked as incomplete or interrupted. The Zeigarnik effect suggests that a started task establishes a particular tension in mind that improves our cognitive accessibility and makes us look for better solutions.

This explains why students who do activities unrelated to study can remember material better than those completing college assignments without a break.

How to use it?
  • Take 15-minute breaks every 50-90 minutes.
  • Use reminder tools or schedule breaks or even better, use focus booster to ensure you take your breaks.
Advance ideas

Procrastination gives us perspective. We have all experienced what happens when you write a long paper in one day. You finish your final proofread, thinking it is perfect, only to return to it the next day to find a bunch of errors and improvements. A fresh look at any idea will allow you to see its flaws and strengths.

According to Gerard J. Tellis and Peter N. Golder, 47% of new market pioneers fail, and only 11% of current market leaders were pioneers when they started. For instance, Facebook launched after MySpace and Friendster, and Google came after Altavista and Yahoo. Being first doesn't mean being best; sometimes procrastination can advance ideas.

Adam Grant elaborates on this idea in his TED talk about surprising habits of original thinkers. The founders of Warby Parker delayed the website launch for six months, which caused problems with investors, but they cleverly used this time to tackle people’s fear of buying online.

They were not first, but their procrastination helped them advance their business idea. Now Warby Parker is recognized as the world's most innovative company, valued at over 1 billion dollars.

How to advance ideas with procrastination
  • Don't grab the very first idea that jumps into your head
  • Brainstorm and iterate on the idea
  • Sleep on it
De-stress

Working as many hours a day as possible, with no breaks, causes nothing but stress.

Peretz Lavie, a researcher from Technion, focused on ultradian rhythms and identified that working for 90-minutes and breaking for 20-minutes during "troughs" in the ultradian waveform, was very effective.

Many experts, including CEO of The Energy Project Tony Schwartz, agree with this 90-minute plan for personal effectiveness, short-term procrastination working in your favour!

So…

  • Consider 90/20 cycle of working
  • Supplement it with pomodoro technique
  • Make realistic to-do lists to ensure you meet your goals and remain productive
Create time

“Good procrastination is avoiding errands to do real work.” - Paul Graham

Often you will have work land at your feet that isn’t necessary. By leaving it for another day it becomes apparent it is just ‘busy’ work. As other important tasks come up, it will be relegated anyway.

How to make this trick work on you?
  • Prioritize tasks: Choose 2-3 most important, game-changing tasks and complete them
  • Eat the frog: Do the most urgent and unenjoyable tasks first
  • Don't multitask: Studies confirm that multitasking is less productive than doing a single task)
Be more creative

Procrastination enhances your ability to think creatively.

Why? You are allowing time for free thinking.

Henrik Aasted Sørensen, the inventor of Adblock, wrote the software while procrastinating on exam prep.

"I suppose some people expect Adblock to have been created in a fit of anti-capitalist rage, or as an idealistic effort to return the internet to its less commercial roots," he said to Business Insider. "What actually happened is I was supposed to be cramming for an upcoming exam at university. As a procrastination project, I decided to try out the relatively new possibility of creating extensions."

Be more strategic

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos tries to keep two days a week unscheduled for doing nothing. It helps him create a carte blanche for thoughts and new strategies.

As Wired cites, on these days Bezos “catches up on email, he wanders around and talks to people, or he sets up his own meetings – ones that are not part of the regular calendar."

What have we learnt?

Now you feel better about reading this article instead of doing work, let’s look at what we have learnt.

Procrastination teaches us to find a balance between work and rest, career and personal life but it is important to distinguish productive procrastination from the negative postponement of problems and tasks.

To use procrastination to your benefit, try this:

Interrupt your work in the middle of an idea

Often when finishing up for the day, we try to find a good point to stop. Instead stop in the midst of a sentence, idea, design (you name it!), your subconsciousness will continue to consider them and provide more creative solutions while you rest.

Work in small sprints

Many people procrastinate because of fear of failure, working in small portions will help you get started. Obviously, 15 minutes are not enough to create a masterpiece, but it's a good tactic to make progress. Perfectly complimented by the use of focus booster, I might add.

Find time for deep work

According to Cal Newport from Georgetown University, work can be either shallow or deep.

Shallow work doesn’t demand a high level of concentration, but deep work requires focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.

"Whether you’re a writer, marketer, consultant, or lawyer: Your work is a craft, and if you hone your ability and apply it with respect and care, then like the skilled wheelwright you can generate meaning in the daily efforts of your professional life," Newport says.

Harness deep work

Clear your schedule. Find a time when you can’t be distracted. In a study from the University of California Irvine, researchers learned it takes 23 minutes to get back to the same point of focus after a distraction.

Work on entering a state of flow, when you feel full involvement and enjoyment in the process, and it seems your work is doing itself.

Break over! Now that you have some ideas on how to make your procrastination work for you, it is time to get back to winning at life :)

Before you go, leave a comment to let us know how you make procrastination work to your advantage.

Written by Emily Johnson, the content strategist behind OmniPapers. Emily is interested in how workspace design can encourage motivation and productivity. She loves to share her experiences with others through writing and twitter.

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Do you regularly finish your day feeling like you haven't achieved anything? Do you race around like a headless chicken, to seemingly no avail? What is the point of being mindlessly busy, when you can never find the time to spend doing all the things you want to be doing?

No one wants to reach the end of a gruelling year saying I wish...

  • I had been happier.
  • I had taken more risks.
  • I made more time for me/spent more time with my family.
  • I didn't lose touch with my friends.
  • I had travelled more.

Regretting the things you never achieved is avoidable, but the key is starting to work toward what will make you happy.

Today.

You know what you want. All you need to do is implement a framework to help you work towards it.

It is that simple.

Frameworks can help you achieve any number of things. We all like to think that life is much more free flowing than that, but the truth is, if you don't have a plan, you might never get there.

Understanding your tasks

When you write your to-do list in the morning, it will typically be made up of three types of tasks, the urgent ones, the important ones that have the ability to move you forward and the tasks that are neither of those but make you look and feel busy, therefore productive.

Urgent tasks

Urgent tasks demand immediate attention and often involve other people or their goals. If you don't deliver it will be noticed, others will be affected, and it might lead to repercussions. Ultimately, we care what other people think of us, so we usually prioritise these. When we are focused on urgent tasks it often feels like a constant battle of putting out fires.

Important tasks

Important tasks are more internally focused, whether professional or personal, getting to them might make your life easier, maybe someone else's life too or it might have some other seemingly self-serving benefit. But again, because we care what others think, we push these down the list.

Busy tasks

We all have tasks we feel obligated to do or have a compulsion for, they add to our sense of purpose to complete them but what do they give us? For example, achieving inbox zero. Yes, it feels good. Yes, it makes you busy, but it doesn't move you closer to your goals.

The framework you need - the Eisenhower Matrix

If there was ever a framework that would be worth borrowing to help you really make progress in your life, it makes sense that it would come from former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1954, Eisenhower imparted these words of knock you in face wisdom...

“What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.”

This resulted in the development of the Eisenhower Decision Principle which teaches you to evaluate the tasks you have in your to-do list according to whether they are important/unimportant and urgent/non-urgent.

You can more easily visualise the principle in a matrix;

Important and urgent

Whether you left it to the last minute or it surprised you, this is a task you need to do yourself, and you need to do it now.

Important but nonurgent

These tasks will add value; they help you achieve your personal and professional goals. You can do them later but make sure you set aside time for them, so they don't become urgent or get left behind altogether.

Unimportant but urgent

These are tasks that need doing, but they get in the way of you achieving your goals. If you have the luxury, you should delegate these tasks, otherwise, work out how to make them easier. Anything that is repetitive, you might be able to automate (Zapier anyone?!).

Unimportant and nonurgent

Delete these from your day. Although some of them might be therapeutic (e.g. watching an episode of your favourite series on Netflix) others are just endless time sinks (social media) or busy tasks (achieving inbox zero).

Now it is your turn (feel free to use our matrix template)...

Split your to-do list into the four quadrants to assess what is really going to help you make progress...

How to prioritise when everything is important and urgent?

Are you in a situation where you let a few too many things get in the important and urgent quadrant? It can feel completely overwhelming. Here is one approach to finding your way;

Right now...

Determine the three most important tasks and focus on those. If even that is too much, just pick one. Push all the others to the back of your mind and put all your energy into addressing this/these tasks as efficiently and effectively as possible, so that you can then move on to the next task.

Once you have your tasks selected, it is simply a matter of using focus booster to help you get through them. The pomodoro technique is perfect for helping you maintain focus, avoid distractions and make progress.

For future...

Avoid the situation of having all your tasks in the important and urgent box in future;

  1. Identify which of these tasks could have been predicted.
  2. Determine how in future you could plan to better to avoid some of these situations.
    • Do you need to work on avoiding procrastination?
    • How can you improve communication with clients, colleagues, friends and family to avoid these situations?
When busy masks something deeper

Let's not get into this too far (there surely is another blog post in this), but it is worth discussing briefly some people's need to be insanely busy. What does being busy hide, or prevent you from realising and what is the effect of being so busy on productivity?

The short answer is, it prevents you from questioning whether you are happy and if you have a purpose in life.

That is why it is important to assess your to-do list using the Eisenhower matrix or another system for task prioritisation. Delete your 'busy' tasks, reflect on what is paramount to you, work towards that and you will begin to gain clarity over what truly makes you happy.

Here are the links, if you are interested in how being busy effects productivity or the psychology behind being crazy-busy.

Make sure you have purpose in your day

Once you have experience with the Eisenhower Matrix (and you have focused on planning and communication to reduce your important and urgent tasks), you should have the headspace be able to focus on more of your important and nonurgent tasks.

Now, it is time to make sure you have a purpose in your day.

Here we head to Zen Habits, Leo's suggestion is to 'purpose your day';

  • Pick one to three tasks every day that you want to complete
  • Make sure one of those tasks relates directly to moving your goals forward
  • Do it first thing in the day, don't let anything get in the way

That way you can take a step toward achieving your goals every day!

Using focus booster to help you progress your life

We have put together a PDF of an Eisenhower Decision Matrix for you to work through but further to this we have created another version of our pomodoro planning sheet to help you better implement both techniques together.

What are you waiting for? Use the simple steps outlined in this post to determine your important tasks and start working toward your goals. Today.

Please leave a comment below if you enjoyed this post.

Written in 8 pomodoro sessions, start making real progress in your life today.

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In its simplest form, good health is just a collection of all the decisions you make throughout the day.

Sleeping or more coffee?
Donut or pressed juice?
Hiking or Netflix marathon?

You get the idea.

Now it goes without saying that I am not a sleep therapist, personal trainer, nutritionist, or doctor. So why should you listen to me? I'm writing this article as a place to collect all of the knowledge that I have picked up from countless podcasts, blogs, books, and videos on how a healthy lifestyle can directly impact one's productivity. I hope that you get much value from this article, as we at focus booster believe that productivity is more than just completing pomodoro sessions. To us, productivity is about making sure you can get your work done in the most efficient manner possible AND still have abundant energy to enjoy the rest of your life to the fullest.

So let’s get started. Here is your guide to living a healthier and more productive lifestyle as a freelancer.

Know thyself

One of the key steps to becoming more productive is deciding if you will follow your body's natural productive rhythm or not. This one decision will have the most impact on your health and productivity. As a freelancer, you have the luxury to choose to work around your body's natural productive rhythm, so I highly recommend you take advantage of it. Take note of what your current schedule is and jot down when you feel like you have the most energy or are most productive naturally. Using this data, set up a new schedule that places your most important tasks within the times of highest natural productivity.

But first...

A healthier lifestyle starts with deciding when you will have your last cup of coffee in reference to your bed time. Your last cup will depend on your body's tolerance to the type of caffeine you regularly take. For myself, I don't drink any more coffee if I'm eight or fewer hours away from bedtime. Another key element is making sure you have some sort of routine for going to bed. Just how certain working environments (link to places to work as a freelancer article) can tell your brain it's time to get work done, a night time routine can tell your brain it's time to start winding things down for a good night's rest.

SaaS (Sleep as a Service)
Better sleep: a 2-minute guide - YouTube

Now that you have your night time routine in place thanks to our friends at Vox, it's time to take it to the next level and get work done while sleeping. Josh Waitskin author of The Art of Learning, world-class martial arts champion, and international chess master has perfected his sleep work technique. Every night before going to bed he gives his subconscious an idea, task, problem, etc, to mull over during sleep. The next morning when he awakes instead of turning his attention to his Twitter or Facebook feed. He immediately journals and is able to tap into all of the solutions/ideas his brain has come up with during sleep. Our brains of course naturally do this because REM (link here) sleep is a perfect time for the brain to solidify the new neural networks that were made throughout the day. It's within these neural pathways that we find our eureka moments, insights, and next big ideas. All we are really doing here is just writing these insights down as soon as we rise.

Master Your Mornings

Waking up right is one of the most beneficial things you can do to set yourself up for a great day. As a freelancer, the most crucial reason for a morning routine, is its ability to mark the beginning of the workday. Therefore it is more important to establish any sort of morning routine than to focus too much on what you should include in the routine itself. For reference, here is what I have chosen to include in mine, feel free to use it as a building block for your own.

Roughly about 8 hours after I have fallen asleep my Philips Sunrise Wakeup alarm is shining bright and there is a soothing ocean side soundscape bringing me back to consciousness. I immediately gulp down 1 whole water bottle to replenish the surprising amount of fluids I have lost during sleep(link to article stating loss of fluids during sleep). I then go into my morning journaling session, which is followed by a 5-minute floor mediation. After a morning run on an empty stomach and a cold shower, I'm ready for the last step of my morning routine which is breakfast. In part 2 of this post we will go over nutrition, exercise, work ergonomics, and the best way to implement all of these tips.

Philips HF3520 Wake-Up LED Light Room Illumination Demonstration - YouTube

Written in 12 Pomodoro sessions in San Francisco, California.

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You know those days when you just don't feel like working? When the freedom of being your own boss becomes a constraint, because you can't get motivated? Yeah, those ones. We all need our little hacks to push us toward our next goal, to drive our grit and determination.

One that consistently works for me is using music and other sounds to keep me moving. Below you will find specific genres, artists, websites, and much more to help you fly through all your Pomodoro sessions and any other type of work you need to get through.

Instrumental Movie Scores

There is something quite epic about writing a blog post with the sounds of the Dark Side fueling your every keystroke. Or working on Photoshop with the music of Inception helping you shape new worlds. Recently, the Star Wars movie score compilation has been my default work soundscape when starting a new Pomodoro. Helping me get through even the most mundane tasks in a breeze.

Best Star Wars Music By John Williams - YouTube

Instrumental Versions of Your Favorite Jams

You know that earworm that you can't get out of your head? The song that makes you yell out "this is my jam." Well, you can use this song, and others like it, to help you be more productive. All it takes is a quick search on YouTube for the instrumental version of the song. Something like "(insert name of song here) instrumental" into the search box should do. From there, you have two options depending on how much attention a task requires.

The first approach is for Pomodoro sessions that require one of your highest levels of concentration. Here you will want to pick one instrumental version of a song and loop it for 25 minutes. The familiarity of the song hits just enough of your pleasure centers to make the experience enjoyable but the repetitiveness allows your brain to also drown out the song into the background and allow your great ideas to rise to the top.

I highly suggest you use YouTube to listen to your instrumental music, because of how easy it is to find these sorts of tracks on the service. YouTube also has a great built-in loop option on its web player. Getting to it is a bit hidden, but a simple right-click on the video window will bring up the option, click loop and blaze through your Pomodoro with increased concentration.

The second option is for tasks that require a lower attention span. For these, it's best to generate a Pomodoro optimized 25-minute long playlist of the instrumental versions of your favorite songs. The switch from one song to another might be a little too distracting for higher concentration tasks, so that is why it's put here as a second option. I use this approach when clearing out my spam inbox or when doing my weekly review of my GTD system.

Foreign Language Music

The whole purpose of listening to instrumental only music is to not let your brain be distracted by words. But what about when your brain can’t understand the words? Well, that is where foreign language music comes in. One of my go to "Pomodoro" artists is Sango. He creates up-tempo music that primarily features samples of Brazilian vocals on top of electronic beats. The blend is amazing and I have come to think of this artist as auditory caffeine. To find your own Sango I recommend browsing through Spotify’s Viral 50 , broken down by country. Who knows, maybe your favorite "Pomodoro" artist might be waiting for you in Norway.

DJ Sets

I reserve this type of music solely for the most mundane Pomodoro sessions, ones that don’t require the highest amounts of attention at all. If I’m clearing my spam inbox or checking @ mentions on Twitter I’m usually rocking out to a DJ set. Below is one of my go to sets that I come back to almost every week. If you want a feed of new DJ sets coming your way I recommend that you subscribe to Mixmag’s and or Boiler Room’s YouTube channels. Note that some of these will have lyrics, so that is why they are reserved for the Pomodoro sessions that require the least amount of attention.

ALISON WONDERLAND trap, hip hop and bass DJ set in The Lab LA - YouTube

Classical

This is usually what people think of when they think of “work” music. For me, classical works best when I’m trying to consume new information and not so much for generating new content. For instance, Pomodoro sessions spent catching up on a trade magazine or personal development readings.

Classical Music for Studying and Concentration | Study Music Piano | Relaxing Music for Studying - YouTube

Good Ol Fashion Silence

No matter how distraction free the music may be, when there is any sound going on at least some of your brain power will be spent processing that sound. So next time you find yourself with a mission critical Pomodoro session coming up, it's probably best to turn down the music and get to work.

I reserve my 25-minute silent Pomodoro sessions for brainstorming and editing final drafts. If you find yourself in a noisy environment and want to get a silent Pomodoro in without having to run for a Buddhist monastery. I recommend listening to white noise. This combination will put you in a zen-like state while working, no matter how noisy the local coffee shop might get.

After completing silent Pomodoro sessions it is best to celebrate during your five-minute break with one of your favorite jams to reenergize you. Especially for putting up with nasty silence. You deserve it!

Background Noise

Pretty much the opposite problem of silence. Sometimes your brain just needs some background noise to help it work at it's best capacity. Especially for freelancers that often work from home. There are countless apps that will generate anything from coffee shop ambiance to actual airplane noise. Some of my favorite apps are;


⚠️Experimental Options: Try at your own risk ⚠️

Binaural Beats

It’s very important to note that that the actual effects of binaural beats are debated, so your mileage may vary. Think of it more like a wildcard in your roster of soundscapes, especially good for those extra hard or mundane Pomodoro sessions. As a liberal arts major, I swear binaural beats are the only way I got through my required math courses. To get the most out of binaural beats, it's best to listen through headphones.

3 HOURS Creativity and Focus ~ Binaural Beats - YouTube

Single Song Loop

If you ever feel like messing with your brain, you can always try to listen to one song during all four Pomodoro sessions. People that have tried this approach report being put into a zen-like trance and eventually even forget that they are listening to music.

Deadmau5 - Strobe (2 Hour Mix) - YouTube

Hopefully, you've learned how to leverage music to be more productive at your day job. You know, the thing that allows for your ever-growing vinyl collection and yearly Coachella tickets... If this article has earned your recommendation, please pass this along to three other music loving freelancers who could benefit from some new sounds to take their productivity to the next level.

Written in 10 Pomodoro sessions from Redding, California.

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You’ve just finished your morning routine, and now it’s time to start your work day. As a freelancer, your options of where you can get work done are numerous, but where will you be more productive? Outside of the typical home office and coworking space, here is a list of my favorite places to get work done.

1) City Parks You’d be surprised how many public parks have excellent Wifi coverage. Here are some benefits of knocking out a few Pomodoro sessions at your local park.

  • Vitamin D boost - According to Scientific American currently 75% of all teens and adults in the United States have a vitamin D deficiency. The culprit? Increased amount of time spent indoors, away from the Vitamin D giving rays of the sun.

  • Increased critical thinking - There have been countless studies performed showing that time spent in nature can increase critical thinking skills, as well as offer up more creativity. It makes sense since we are biologically designed to be out in nature and not hunched over laptops indoors.

  • Increased health - One of the benefits of working in the park is that it is easy to incorporate a brisk walk into your breaks or even a nice bike ride allowing you to enjoy the nature around you. Personally, I always seem to close the activity rings on my smart watch when I work from a city park.

Pro Tip: To bring some of these extra benefits to your home office, set up shop in a room with a lot of natural light. Also, consider bringing in some plants to brighten up your space and receive some of the benefits of being out in nature.

2) University Libraries Every university library is different, and while most libraries allow outside visitors, it is always a good idea to check the library website for their particular policies before heading out. Some of the benefits of rubbing elbows with college students at the university library are.

  • Being in an environment of focused individuals.

  • Access to great resources such as a variety of reference material and trade publications (depending on library policy).

  • Access to pleasant outside working areas, which would gain you all the benefits of working at a city park.

Pro Tip: For those universities that don’t allow wifi access to visitors, I’m looking at you, Berkeley. Do what I do and bring work that requires an internet/distraction free environment, for instance, a blog post on the best places to work away from your home/office!

3. Independent Coffee Shops Not only are indie coffee shops a great place to work, but they are also a perfect place to rendezvous for some after work fun. Most feature a variety of activities such as open mic nights, group jogs, and trivia nights. When you’re not busy with all the extracurriculars, some of the benefits of working at the local coffee shop include;

  • Limitless source of caffeine

  • Experience the buzz of having people around you (some much needed human interaction)

  • Background noise to keep you productive (they even have apps that play cafe noise because people find it helps boost output and focus!)

Pro Tip: Check out Yelp and explore the best independent local coffee shops in your area. You will get to know your city better at the same time and find some damn good coffee.

4) Hourly Spaces Renting office and or meeting spaces by the hour might seem like a waste of money when a co-working space obviously offers a much better deal. But these hourly office spaces are useful for those not wanting to rent co-working space regularly.

Use this hourly office/meeting space for focused work sessions. Like crucial product brainstorming, a client meeting, or possibly as an end of the week productivity treat. You’d be surprised how something as simple as a change of scenery can affect the quality of one’s thinking.

  • Liquidspace offers the biggest selection of hourly workspaces around the world.

  • Breather, a small startup, offers some great high end working spaces if you live in San Francisco, New York, or Boston.

  • Recharge doesn’t sell workspaces but instead, allows users to book hotel rooms for an hour. Since most hotels have well-equipped workstations, regardless this might be a cool way to transition to/from our next suggestion.

5. Hotel Lobbies High-speed Wi-Fi, comfy chairs, no crowds. It’s a bit of a mystery why these locations are not more popular. Most freelancers can blend right in with the business traveler crowd if you leave the startup hoodie at home. More and more hotels are encouraging patrons to come and work in their lobbies to give them a bit of a buzz of activity.

  • All the benefits of working at a coffee shop but with much more expensive furniture, more space, and fewer crowds.

Pro Tip: Bring a nice pair of noise canceling headphones with you, in case things get a bit loud. Some of my favorites are the Bose QC 35s or for a more flashy pair of cans the Parrot Zik 3s work just as well.

Hold your horses...

Before you take off, let’s make sure you have the proper gear ready to go.

  • Laptop/tablet with enough juice. Leave the charger at home, as this builds a sense of urgency in your work and pushes you to get more done in a smaller amount of time.

  • Wifi Hotspot Dongle. Although your smartphone is capable of creating a hotspot on its own. For the most distraction free Pomodoro sessions, your smartphone should be turned off or at the very minimum in airplane mode.

  • Noise Cancelling Headphones. While working remotely is great, one of the drawbacks is that it can get a bit noisy at times. A great pair of noise canceling headphones pumping some ambient music/white noise will come in real handy.

Now it’s time to grab your gear, pick a place, and go be your most productive self. Maybe in between Pomodoro sessions you can share this article with two other freelancers that could use a few hours outside of the home office.

Written in 10 Pomodoro sessions from Berkeley, California

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As a new freelancer, it’s important to start off on the right foot. The following three tips are essential if you want to achieve success on this new adventure.

1. Tap Into Your Grit:

Grit determines how successful a person will be. Grit is a sustained amount of high energy work put towards reaching a goal, regardless of any setbacks or slow progress. According to University of Pennsylvania Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth whose Ted Talk on grit has been viewed over a million times, grit has outperformed intelligence, innate ability of any kind, and even good looks in determining future success.

2. Increase Focus with Pomodoro:

Work sessions do not need to be super long. In fact, they should be kept relatively short, to improve productivity, 25 minutes to be exact. But these are not just any 25 minutes; they are 25 minutes of hyper-concentration. When you start a new work session, there should be nothing else going on but the work in front of you. Each 25-minute work session should be followed by a five-minute break to clear your head. When you have completed four work sessions, follow it up with a 20-minute break. This work rhythm is called the Pomodoro Technique, and it makes working more efficient and refreshing compared to the traditional way of working for long stretches of time.

3. Track Active Work Time:

It’s tempting to track how much time you have been working throughout the day by using a simple time logger or calendar. But this data does not tell you how much time you have been generating new value. Use the Pomodoro technique we discussed earlier with the focus booster app to track active time spent creating new value and then use that data to optimize your daily and weekly schedules to make sure you are putting in the required effort towards achieving your goals as a freelancer. These records double as a quick and easy way to bill your time.

In closing, the three keys to success as a new freelancer are to tap into your grit, increase focus, and track active work time. All things which seem obvious, but as someone starting out, they are easy to overlook.

If you found this article helpful, please share it with two other people in your life who would benefit from it.

Thank you to Jeff Newton over at Americano Mondays for the sweet photo!

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Did you know you are only one app away from being able to achieve 12 of the Forbes 15 surprising things productive people do differently?

In January 2016, Kevin Kruse collated a list of 15 surprising things productive people do. It was a result of interviews with over 200 super productive people, including billionaires, successful entrepreneurs and Olympians, during which he asked one question, "What is your number one secret to productivity?".

The result of compiling all the data was a noticeable repetition of 15 specific tasks these people honestly believed had improved their productivity.

But even better than knowing the 15 things, is that by using focus booster and the pomodoro technique you will achieve 12 of them with ease. I have broken it down for you below.

#1: Focus on minutes, not hours

Time is valuable. You can never get it back. So the most successful people focus on minutes.

The whole premise of focus booster is to work with time rather than against it. The pomodoro technique encourages you only to focus on the 25 minutes directly ahead of you.

By allocating a session to complete a particular task, you also impose a deadline of sorts that can be useful for pushing you to strive for completion.

focus booster then records all the time you spend against your clients, projects and tasks, so you know exactly where those minutes went.

#2: Focus only on one thing

We have said it before, multitasking isn't productive (checkout misconception #1 the pomodoro technique isn't for everyone). focus booster ensures you determine one thing to concentrate on per session. It teaches you to manage distractions, so you give all your attention to that one thing only. Ensuring you do a better job, in less time.

#3: Don't use to-do lists

At this stage focus booster doesn't have any to-do list capability. So, for the moment focus booster users are planning their days elsewhere.

Why not try planning your day with your calendar. Block out time in 25 minutes chunks (a pomodoro session) with a specific focus for each. Plan your day like a productive person.

#4: Beat procrastination with time travel

Think about what you might do in the future that will stop you from achieving the goals you have today. This anticipation will help to circumvent extending effort on something if you aren't going to put in 100%. It will also prepare you for working towards something you really want to achieve by recognizing how you might self-sabotage.

You can use focus booster to beat procrastination on any task. The act of breaking all tasks into 25-minute sessions makes it less daunting to get started. The short time frame and reward of a 5-minute rest ensure the task no longer seems insurmountable.

#5: Be home for dinner

Successful people make time for the things and ones they love but to do this, you need to get on top of your ever-growing list of things to do.

One of the best things about using focus booster and the pomodoro technique is that you become a lot better at managing expectations.

The longer you work in pomodoro sessions, the better you become at estimating how long things will take. In turn, you can give accurate information to management, clients, team members and most importantly, you can be truthful with yourself.

Often the reason for working late is we have a deadline to meet. Use focus booster and plan in pomodoro sessions to help you realistically manage expectations and make it home for dinner.

#7: Deal with email only a few times a day

When planning out the day in pomodoro sessions, allocate a few for dealing with email. Then for the rest of the day, you can shut down your mail client and be released from the stress of needing to know what the email that just flashed across your screen contained. It will allow you to focus purely on the task at hand.

#8: Avoid meetings at all costs

Meetings are known to be inefficient and result in a lot of wasted time. Reduce the number of meetings you have. Those that are necessary keep them to the length of a pomodoro session.

#10: Follow the 80/20 rule

Be mindful of the activities that make you successful and spend more time on them. The 80/20 rule, known as the Pareto Principle, states that 80% of results come from 20% of actions. As an example, 80% of a company's business often comes from just 20% of its clients.

Nurture the areas that show the biggest returns. To do this, you can use focus booster's productivity reporting to ensure you are concentrating the right ratio of time in the more valuable areas.

#12: Theme days of the week

The mind responds well to routine. If you are in the habit of doing certain tasks on certain days, you are more likely to ensure they are completed and allowing you to move on with your schedule.

Once you have your theme, use focus booster to maintain focus throughout the day and track how much time you devote to these themes. You may be able to free up time for other things that will progress you further in the future.

#13: Only touch things once

The process of opening and reading an email only to decide to deal with it later only causes more work. By using the pomodoro technique, you can ensure you only touch things one. Set aside a dedicated email pomodoro session, where you read any new emails and deal with them immediately.

This theory also works for projects too. If you set aside some pomodoros to tackle something, you need to be complete by the end of that last session. Practice discipline with your time by reducing the number of times you need to look at something.

#14: Have a consistent morning routine

Nurture your body and mind in the morning. A healthy breakfast, some exercise and some meditation or motivational reading. Despite their benefits, some people can find it difficult to make time for these things. If you really struggle to keep them in your busy routine, the best way to make them stick is to set aside a pomodoro session or two for them.

Once you start work, focus booster is essential for sticking to a routine and keeping you motivated.

#15: Energy is everything

Having high energy levels is essential to being successful because what precedes success is hard work. focus booster helps you to retain high energy levels by promoting regular breaks. It is also a tool that changes the way you think about time. You no longer work against the clock, you work with it and have an in-depth understanding of the effort required to achieve amazing things.

There are so many different things touted as immediate solutions to creating success through productivity. There is no one size fits all solution but focus booster can help you achieve 12 of the 15 productivity secrets that Kevin Kruse discovered through his interviews, and that has to be worth a try, especially when we have a 30-day free trial, no credit card required!

The other three, in case you are wondering!

focus booster can help you achieve all but three of the productivity improving tasks these successful people have recognized as being paramount to their success. Here are the rest to round out your new productivity regime;

#6: Use a notebook

Your mind is for being creative and thinking, don't overwork it with the job of remembering everything too. Write it down. Carry a notebook or use an app to write things down. It saves forgetting them and Richard Branson, among other highly successful people, swears by it.

#9: Say "no" to almost everything

You only have 1,440 minutes in a day, use them wisely and for things you want to do.

#11: Delegate almost everything

What is the best way to get a task done? Well, it certainly isn't always by doing it yourself. Outsource and delegate when you can.

You can download the ready to print infographic of the 15 surprising things ultra productive people to differently.

12 out of 15 isn't bad. Try focus booster out and see just how much your productivity improves. Sign up for a free 30-day trial with focus booster today.

Written in 7 pomodoro sessions, this is our take on why focus booster can help you become as productive as some of the world's most successful people.

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