Laser-Sharp Focus

Now that I have no income and very soon I will start feeling the heat, I need to develop a laser-sharp focus super-power.

Coppergate out of focus
Creative Commons License photo credit: Stephen Jefferson

Here are the steps I am taking to reduce distractions and stay focused and productive:

  1. I unsubscribed from 95% of the feeds – my Google reader is lean and mean (I still read Dilbert every day)
  2. I unsubscribed from every newsletter or email I get – specially the ones that tell me to buy stuff. Damn you Amazon.com
  3. I turned off all my instant messaging – AIM, MSN, Google Talk, Yahoo and Skype.
  4. I am trying to limit email checking to twice or three times a day (very hard to do)
  5. I am limiting blogging to once or twice a week and schedule posts to be spread out several days.
  6. I am using Basecamp to keep track of my project, milestones, to do items and so on. Albeit its limitation, I love this tool.
  7. I use outlook and remember the milk to manage my tasking and calendaring (I might get rid of rtm)
  8. I listen to a lot of DJ Tiesto on Pandora
  9. I am eliminating video games. The Xbox 360 is broken, and I am not going to fix it. I think Microsoft programmed it to break 1 week after the warranty expires.
  10. I am limiting web browsing to 1 hour a day or less if I can.
  11. I am limiting TV to very specific shows (lost and family guy), plus my media center just croaked. Why have a surge protector if the first storm fries your electronics.
  12. I am not showering or shaving. I am just kidding. Actually, I would love to do that but Laura would leave me.

Do you have other tips on how to stay focused and productive?

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0 thoughts on “Laser-Sharp Focus

  1. I went through the same exercise about a year ago, although I kept my employer ;)My list:* GTD – saved my life* No longer hosting my own Exchange server – Gmail is free and better* No longer hosting web site at home – have a nice friend who hosts me for free* Read personal email once or twice a day, quite easy with the work schedule I have* Read blogs once a day at most* Skipped bulky lunches* General analysis of my time if it takes more than an hour and I’m not being paid for it then I have to ask myself if it is worth me doing it, or paying someone else.

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  2. I went through the same exercise about a year ago, although I kept my employer 😉
    My list:

    * GTD – saved my life
    * No longer hosting my own Exchange server – Gmail is free and better
    * No longer hosting web site at home – have a nice friend who hosts me for free
    * Read personal email once or twice a day, quite easy with the work schedule I have
    * Read blogs once a day at most
    * Skipped bulky lunches
    * General analysis of my time if it takes more than an hour and I’m not being paid for it then I have to ask myself if it is worth me doing it, or paying someone else.

    Like

  3. @Rob: Thanks for the tips. I am a huge fan of GTD and have been regulary using it. I am trying to outsource everything I can. The opportunity cost lost by trying to do everything on my own is huge. It’s better to focus on what I can do best and outsource everything else.

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  4. @Rob: Thanks for the tips. I am a huge fan of GTD and have been regulary using it. I am trying to outsource everything I can. The opportunity cost lost by trying to do everything on my own is huge. It’s better to focus on what I can do best and outsource everything else.

    Like

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