Conquer the small stuff.
To make a difference both in our life and business, we need to be fully productive and creative. But small stuff often prevents us from being so.
If the small stuff is worthless — like notifications of SNS or email software — we can just get rid of it. Easy. If you can completely turn off your phone when you have to focus on something, that’s much better.
What if the small stuff is what we have (or need) to do but not what we want to do, like tax filings? There are hundreds of ways to deal with it, but I prefer these two:
1) Plan ahead. If it is clear that you have to do a certain thing by a certain date, set a schedule, then forget about it until then. Calendar or reminder apps will help you do this. Don’t even use a fraction of your brain power to remember these stuff — it’s just a waste of our willpower. Don’t postpone it either; doing so makes you feel bad about yourself and adversely affects your productivity and creativity.
2) Do it now. If it takes less than 10 minutes to complete a task, just get it done right now. Don’t even think if it is the right time to do this or not. If you’re not sure how long it takes, set a schedule later and follow the instruction of “Plan ahead.” That being said, I’m still far from perfect, and sometimes procrastinating. So once a week — usually Sunday — I have a “clean-up” day. This is the day I take care of all small tasks I left behind during the week.
Being productive and creative is a battle. Battle against distractions — as well as yourself. As long as you face the battle, you might as well lead you to victory.