8.9 Maintaining Efficiency

Being efficient is all about controlling distractions and putting in boundaries.

The fact is, we all want to have momentum when we work, but just like most other endeavours, efficiency is like a muscle which needs to be exercised! Distractions are everywhere. Phones, TV, YouTube et.al. Having a workflow that keeps boundaries around these distractions, is paramount.

And yet, distractions for one person, can actually be a motivator for another. Write down what your personal distractions actually are and be honest with yourself.

Making a plan.

Making a plan for how you intend your day to run can be a great way to stay motivated. It could look as simple as this.

  1. 9am-10am : Coffee and emails
  2. 10am-12pm : Working on tracks.
  3. 12pm-1pm : Lunch
  4. 1pm-1:30pm : Phone calls/Replying to messages
  5. 1:30pm-3pm : Working on tracks
  6. 3:30pm – 4pm : Break
  7. 4pm – 5pm : Working on tracks.

When you plan your day, you create a place for everything to fit. If you need to call a client back, you can call them back in specified time. If you need to reply back to an email, you have a spot for that too.

The most challenging of all, is that there is no boss looking over your shoulder watching how much you get done. You are your own boss. Let’s step through some measures that can really help efficiency.

When are you most creative?

Determine the part of the day when you are most creative. For some it’s early in the morning, for others it’s late at night. This is when you are working at your best capacity. Structure your day around these times.

A single 17 year old may find that the best time is late at night, whereas, if you have kids, the best time may be during the day when they are at school. It’s really important to make the most of the time in which you have the most clarity.

Being Focused.

Our brains can only focus for a certain amount of time before we need a break. We are actually far more effective if we work in spurts of, for example,  30-50minutes of hard work and then a 5 minute break.

Following, is a great workflow suggestion that many producers/creatives have adopted.

Download an app called ‘Be Focused’ on the app store. The app is a simple timer that automatically counts down how long until your next break. Inside this app you can decide these boundaries:-

  • How long do you want the hard work spurt to be?
  • How long will you need for a break?

These are the limits that I set daily.

  • Work for 50 minutes.
  • 5 minute break
  • Work for 50 minutes
  • 5 minute break

Trust me when I say, this works!
Remember, that when you are working, make sure you are really working! Put all distractions aside knowing that a break is coming up soon.

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