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Productivity is about more than apps: how to really stay focused

(Business News) While we are suckers for any app that promises to give us seconds of our day back, productivity is maintained by so much more than just technology.

productivity

productivity

Knowing how to be legitimately productive

Everyone knows about productivity apps; apps designed to organize your schedule, time, and contacts so that you can focus on running your business. However, according to Anna Vital, there is more to being productive than just apps.

There are thought processes that highly productive individuals have in common. These productivity thought processes can be broken down in to seven categories: mind, food, schedule, body, hacks, clothes, and tech. Each one of these categories play an important role in keeping your mind and body focused on productivity.

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If you want to help focus your mind, focus on the important and suppress the urgent. Vital also suggests you follow the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton: eliminate trivial decisions, like what to wear every day, by wearing the same thing. Find a style that works for you, and make that your statement.

If you are completely lost, staring at blank page, go ahead and write a bad first draft. You can always edit it later. If other ideas are distracting you, start an “idea dump” file or journal for good ideas that you just cannot work on now. And if all else fails, simply learn to ignore email and requests when possible; there is no need to respond to every item.

Food, routines, and the little things

Food fuels the body and allows our minds to flourish, by eating healthy food you give your brain the fuel it needs to make it through the day. If you like to eat at the same place every day, try negotiating a deal for your daily business. Also, try to routinize your diet, or get healthy delivery to save time. For your body to function it needs good food as well. But it also needs sleep. The more you sleep, the more you will be able to get done. Instead of snacking when energy gets low, try to take a short nap. And finally, try to manage your stress and anxiety with exercise; running, walking, swimming, or just taking a few moments to meditate can all help reduce stress and allow the mind time to reset and refocus.

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To better manage your schedule, do the easiest things first; this way you will feel like you are accomplishing more items and be able to power through the day. Set and keep a daily routine: this helps to reduce stress by eliminating the frazzle of “what am I supposed to be doing now?” Prioritize one item a day and do no attend meetings unless they are decisive.

Hacks are little things we do every day to make our lives more efficient. For example, if you are in a meeting and you cannot write everything down, record it instead. You can also visualize your products and make a mind map when you are stuck on an idea. There are even hacks for tech toys. Limit email replies to one per minute and do not answer the phone unless it is an emergency. Also, learn how to set up your keyboard shortcuts; they can be a real timesaver.

The importance of focus

While there are apps available for many of these things, it is important to be aware of what constantly drains productivity and try to remedy it. By eating healthy, focusing and prioritizing tasks, and not being afraid to start something, even if it turns out bad, productivity will increase, anxiety will decrease and the workplace will become a much happier environment.

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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