1. Avoid storing stuff in your head.
In his book, “Getting Things Done, David Allen says that “your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”
We collect ideas, thoughts and to-do’s all day long in our head. However, our brain is not to be a mental filing cabinet. Any idea or task can get lost in an overstuffed brain. Instead, treat your brain like an in/out box. Get it out of your head and capture it externally on paper, a calendar or your favorite list making app. This will allow you to be more present rather than be distracted by what you need to remember.
2. Avoid sitting down all day.
Just because you have a desk job doesn’t mean you have to sit at it all day. Integrate movement, stretches, standing and walking breaks throughout the day. Holding a stagnant position of sitting all day is harmful to your posture, health and focus.
3. Avoid multitasking.
We are not capable of effectively working on more than one cognitive task at a time. When we divide our attention between multiple tasks it increases our chances of mistakes, diminishes our quality of work and it’s a drain on our brain. Get into the habit of performing single task work.
4. Avoid reacting to every ring, ping and ding.
Have you ever been engaged in a task, conversation or activity and you stop it all to check your phone as soon as you know you’ve received a notification? How important is it that you see that notification right now? It’s best to work without interruption and instead schedule designated times throughout the day to catch up on what you’ve missed. And in the case of a conversation, it’s just plain rude to look at your phone when you should be focused on who you are speaking with.
5. Avoid sleeping with your phone.
Sleep experts recommend disconnecting from devices 60 minutes before bedtime to promote deep sleep and a more productive day. Remove the temptation to reach for your smartphone before falling asleep or upon waking up by charging your phone away from your bedside table. If your phone is also your wake up call, then purchase a traditional alarm clock.