Focus on the ball
Mahler is an inquisitive, intelligent, young dog and he will hunt out fun. Another dog to play with, a squirrel to chase, an outdoor exerciser to woof at. His focus can appear irrational, so I take toys and treats to the park for the times when I need him to focus on my terms.
Are we not the same, in trying to evade the allure of another browser tab or a titbit of office gossip to do the work we should be concentrating on?
I’ve accepted that my focus is a work in progress but that it needs concrete strategies - the ball, the treats, the limits. I’ve found five from my first year of self-employment:
I work for one hour, 15 minutes after waking up. There’s almost nothing else of the working world that intrudes at this time so the productivity is on my terms. After this, I exercise and get ready for the day.
I use the pomodoro technique: 25 minutes on a task, five minutes for a break.
I receive no notifications on my phone other than calls and texts. It’s a conscious task for me to access the rest of what might need my attention.
I limit the social media channels I use, and how I use them. Facebook doesn’t work for me. Twitter barely works for me. Instagram is fun. LinkedIn is useful. What works for you will be unique.
I don’t use email as a project management tool.