Two Productive Hours

dart-444196_640Do you crave getting concentration back in your workdays or even in your private life? We need to fight more distraction than ever before. And we all pay a high price for it every day.

In our previous blogpost we shared our suggestions for the time between waking up and getting to your workplace.

How to make the most of the 2 most productive hours in the morning?

One of the well-known productivity advice out there is to ignore your email for the first few hours of the day or at least not check it first thing in the day. But how realistic is this in the workplace? Not at all.

Here is what we suggest: check ONLY the important email first thing when you get to the office. Only from team members, your boss, most important clients and suppliers. The messages might have a big impact on the priorities of the day! On the basis of these crucial messages, you might need to rework the list of the most important projects you need to take care of today.

The next step is to get rid of distractions. Close email, close the door, tell your co-workers to respect your next 1,5-2 hours as focused work time.

It is unrealistic to expect that you will be able to work with 100% focus for 2 hours. You need to take at least one break. Begin with focusing for 45 minutes and then taking 15-20 minutes off. Don’t forget that you have your own rhythm. Maybe you prefer to focus for 60 minutes and then take a break. You supposed to take a break at 45 or 60 minutes but you are in flow and work nearly effortlessly? Use the power of flow and take your break when you feel ready.

Use RescueTime as an app to help you cut back on distractions. You will even get some statistics on your online usage patterns from this useful app.

Managing 2 hours of truly productive and focused work is most probably more than any of your colleagues do in the morning.

One last tip: take an on-site yoga class if it is offered at your company. The 60 minutes that you spend away from your office is the secret of better focus and productivity in the afternoon!

Here is the truth: it is impossible to give the ultimate advice on how to focus. You are a unique person with unique habits and energy patterns. All the advice we or anybody can give is just that: advice. It shouldn’t feel as written in stone and a must. Please try out our advice for a week consistently. If you feel it works for you: awesome, keep going! If you feel that you need to customize the tip to your own energy patters: do that! And if you feel that a tip is impossible to integrate in your life (after trying it out), then just let it go.

Our goal is not to add stress to your already stressed life. Not all tips will fit everybody!

Would you like to create an on-site yoga program to increase focus and productivity at your company? Just call Michelle at 314-630-1677 or contact us through the website.


Morning Focus

widow-1148929_640Focus is one the most coveted skills of the 21st century. Let’s continue our quest to find your own path to success through more focused work.

As we established in our last article: being able to concentrate on what matters and being able to stay focused is a skill you really need to work on. You will get more done and improve the quality of anything you do.

Did you have the chance to look at your patterns of concentration during the usual workday? If not, you can go back to this exercise shared in our last blogpost.

If you consistently note your experience with focus for at least a week, you will begin to see some patterns. What is helping you to concentrate and deliver your best work? What is your biggest pitfall? What causes you loosing concentration? Which are your best 2-4 hours of focused work during the workday? Which are the notoriously unfocused times?

Did you know that research shows that our most productive times are usually after 2 hours of waking up? This productive period lasts for 2 hours approximately. So if you wake up at 7am, you can hope for a focused work time between 9-11am. Which would be in line with the typical workday begin at least in the office. This suggest that we need to get to the workplace in less than 2 hours of waking up.

How is your morning shaping up? When do you wake up? What is happening in the first 2 hours after waking up? Is this one of the most stressful period of your day?

When do you get to the office? What do you do spend those 2 hours after arriving? How do you spend the morning? Do you check email, chat to your co-workers or get a coffee? Write everything down to get the awareness of what is really happening with your time. you know, awareness is the first step in any changing process.

Now the next step is to identify what would need to change in order for you to invite more concentration into your morning.

Here are a few suggestions for the time before you get to the office:

get to bed early the night before so you can wake up easier and on time the next morning. This might mean cutting back on TV…. and might be just the best action step for you!

create streamlined habits for the 1st hour of the morning. This might mean systemizing what you wear. Getting your clothes out and ready to wear in the morning – do this the evening before. Pick your 3 most loved breakfast choices and only prepare those. Don’t need to get creative with your breakfast every morning. If you love smoothies, gather and prepare all the ingredients the evening before. What if the whole family could agree on only one breakfast choice?

use your commuting time for learning or relaxation. You could listen to audiobooks or podcasts on the way to the office. Or simply but consciously take calming, deep breaths while sitting in your car. And yes, do listen to fun stuff. Laughing out loud is the best relaxation!

In the next installment of this series we will talk about how to make your workday more focused.