As a copywriter, maximising my productivity is essential. Just as it is for any other freelancer or office worker. But, staying productive with all the distractions of modern life, isn’t easy. Here I reveal the productivity tool I use to stay on top of my workload.
No work, all procrastination
We’re all guilty of it. We sit at our desk intending to crack on with our work but, before we know it, an hour has gone by.
We’ve checked social media, answered email, and pottered around the web hopping from site to site in response to irresistible clickbait headlines.
That piece of work we intended to get on with? Nothing.
Ah well, make a cup of tea and then we’ll knuckle down. Except we don’t. We just repeat the whole process again. Sound familiar?
As I said. We’re all guilty of it. But it’s not surprising. With so many distractions all around us, it is hard to concentrate, especially in these times of instant communication.
As soon as we receive a Skype, a text, or a social media notification we feel we need to respond straight away.
Which is fine if it is work related and will help us do our job or earn money. But, how often can we truthfully say this is the case?
We are much more likely to be responding to the latest football result, celebrity rumour, or looking at photos of Aunt Julie’s barbeque.
In other words, we are being distracted by things we can easily ignore and answer later when we aren’t supposed to be working.
The trick to greater productivity is to block out those distractions and ignore the signals which constantly battle for our attention. But, how do we do that?
50/20/50 productivity tool
This is a productivity tool which has worked wonders for me. It’s similar to the Pomodoro technique I guess but takes it a little further.
I have to confess I can take absolutely no credit for coming up with this technique though for the life of me I can’t recall where I heard about it.
You break your day into two-hour blocks:
• 50 minutes – work
• 20 minutes – relax
• 50 minutes – work
Pretty simple really. However, there are a few rules and caveats.
For each 50 minute segment you work exclusively on one project and you do nothing else.
If there is anyone else in the office or the house, tell them you mustn’t be disturbed. Turn off the phone, don’t answer email, and ignore social media.
No one said this was going to be easy people.
The 50/20/50 productivity tool in action
Work solidly for 50 minutes, use an online timer like this one to track the time, and when the buzzer goes off, stop immediately.
Now chill for 20 minutes. Play with the dog, make a cup of tea, or do a quick workout. Whatever you do, forget about work.
After 20 minutes, reset your timer and work solidly for another 50 minutes. Then stop.
After each two-hour block take an extended break for 30 minutes or an hour. Have lunch, answer your email, catch up with social media. Do whatever you want to do.
Rinse and repeat.
Split your day into three or four of these two-hour blocks and you will be amazed at just how much work you get through.
The golden rule though is to blank everything out and just concentrate on work during those 50 minute periods.
Will the 50/20/50 productivity tool work for you? Give it a go. I think you’ll be surprised.
As a freelance copywriter I need to be productive. No matter whether you need one blog article a week or ten. Or if you need your full website rewriting I can turnaround the copy you need to the budget and timescale you set.
Call me on 07722 431483 and let’s chat. And, while you’re here, sign up to my monthly newsletter for hints and tips on content marketing, blogging, and SEO. I’ll send you a FREE eBook just for giving it a go.