How many times does this happen to you, you’re all pumped up ready to kick off your day. You begin to work on your project and just like that you get sidetracked. One thing leads to another and 2 hours later you find yourself scratching your head asking “where did the time go?” Ever wonder why you just can’t get focused? Maybe it’s that little voice at the back of your head, pulling you away from your work, telling you that it’s ok to play warcraft or read emails or check out youtube or tweet or text or chat on facebook with that guy you haven’t spoken to since grade 2….there’s always tomorrow right? Most of us have the problem of opening up a browser window and away we go on our endless journey of surfing the net. There are just too many distractions today and it can be hard to just get stuff done. Whatever the case may be, there are ways to help eliminate distractions and become more productive.

In an article written by Amber Singleton Riviere http://webworkerdaily.com/author/brownbugproject/ she discusses a 12 step program that just may bring you some insight and clarity on how exactly to improve productivity.

1) Plan your exit. Productivity for tomorrow starts today. Set a time to leave the office and stick with it. An hour before that time, have a wrap-up alarm remind you to start wrapping things up for the day, a great tip from organizational and productivity guru Julie Morgenstern in her book, “Never Check E-Mail in the Morning”.

2) Plan tomorrow. Set your intentions and priorities for tomorrow during the last hour of your day so that you hit the ground running.

3) Set your boundaries. At quitting time, turn off the computer (completely off so that you’re not tempted to “quickly” check your email), turn off the light, and shut the door. Don’t return until it’s time to work tomorrow.

4) Honor a bedtime routine. Two or three hours before you want to be asleep, begin a routine of winding down. This will be different for every person, but it might include: no more phone calls or connectivity with the outside world (unless it’s an emergency, of course), no more talk about work, a bath or shower, a cup of hot tea, light reading, journal writing, no television, and lights out at a set time.

5) Start the day off right. Wake up at a set time. Exercise or do yoga for fifteen or twenty minutes, unless you have another workout routine that you prefer. Eat a healthy breakfast (don’t skip this, as it affects your energy levels for the rest of the day). Set out with the right intention for your day by taking care of yourself first.

6) Maintain your boundaries. Don’t immediately go to your office and start checking emails or news feeds. You’ll be at your computer all day. Take some time for yourself and other priorities in your life, or they’re less likely to get done later in the day, especially after work. Have some coffee, write in your journal, read, or go for a walk.
Just take some time for yourself before jumping into your work day.

To read steps 7-12 visit: http://webworkerdaily.com/2010/02/23/improved-productivity-a-12-step-program/

These are all great actions to take to become more productive. You can follow this 12 step process or develop your own. It requires discipline and action, I know it’s easier said than done but it’s better to start somewhere right? So the next time you’re working on something whether it’s drawing a panel for that comic book or writing the next bad ass story, try to stay focused and on task. Once you get some work done you can reward yourself with checking out the latest comic news or your facebook or a beer…unless you are rewarding yourself like 10 times a day, then you might want to cut out the beer.

In the next article I’ll be discussing some of the programs that Septagon’s been testing to help stay productive and on task. We’ll be providing you with a list of apps that might come-in-handy and aid you with productivity.

How do you stay productive? What programs/apps do you use to help you stay on track?

Photo by Flickr user Thomas Shahan