Tagged With focus

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You might call them "distractions". Maybe you call them your "to-do list". Whatever words you use, they're the things that keep pulling you away from what you should be doing right now. These habits require your reaction, and they get in the way of real productivity.

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You have no problem keeping busy. No problem crossing things off your to-do list. You multitask like it's going out of style. But the weeks continue to fly by and you can't help but be dissatisfied with what you've actually accomplished. I got sick of this pattern. So I changed it.

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I spend most of my day on a computer. When I'm not working I spend my spare time programming or blogging. When I take a break I spend it looking at my phone. One of the problems with all this time spent looking at screens is the amount of digital clutter these habits have created in my life.

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Chrome: If you need a little help staying away from distracting web sites when you need to focus, or you want to give your sanity a break and block specific topics, SiteCop can help. Once installed, tell it when and how long to keep you focused, give it web addresses or keywords to block and it will do the rest.

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Is creativity something people are just born with? For many of us, creative thinking isn't purely intuitive — it's also plain hard work. As writer Iris Shoor explains, coming up with fresh ideas isn't always a natural gift — it's a skill that can be learned.

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Contrary to our romanticised notions, writers don't just sit around all day, drink coffee and scotch and wait for inspiration to strike. Like any other job, they have to be disciplined and productive. While that does involve lots of coffee, it also requires hard work. Here's how some famous authors have kept their nose to the grindstone.

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Productivity isn't just about getting things done. At its core, it's about being resourceful with your time. In a recent interview with author Charles Duhigg, he told us, "You can spend your entire day being busy and not get anything important done. Productivity is about getting important things done." In his new book, Smarter Faster Better, Duhigg explores this fuller meaning of productivity and how to achieve it.

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Sometimes it's hard to stay focused, and you may not even realise why you can't seem to keep your mind on the task at hand. It might be because you have unfinished business with a previous task. To remedy this, take some simple advice from a Zen master: Leave no trace.

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Whether you're trying to focus and get some work done, you need to chill out and relax, or you want something soothing to help you drift off to sleep, Brain.fm has tunes that can help you out. The compositions are completely original, so don't expect to hear songs you know, but they do work like a charm.

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Every single day, my to-do list is a reminder of all the other projects I haven't started. The passion projects that I 'just don't have time' to do. And when I do have time? That familiar friend — fear — comes knocking at my door.