Experiment with work patterns. Try the Pomodoro
Technique, which takes its name from a tomato-
shaped egg-timer. Set yours for 25 minutes and
concentrate on your work until the bell rings. No
opening emails, no searching the internet, no making
phone calls. Then take a five-minute break, and start
again. Be warned that it is a surprisingly intense way
Focus on the now. Mindfulness
techniques can help stop your mind
from hijacking your attention and
sending you off into the past and future.
Take the first 30 minutes of every day to
plan your day. Don't start your day until
you complete your time plan. The most
important time of your day is the time
you schedule to schedule time.
Schedule time for interruptions. Plan time
to be pulled away from what you're
doing. Take, for instance, the concept of
having "office hours." Isn't "office hours"
another way of saying "planned
• Plan to spend at least 50 percent of
your time engaged in the thoughts,
activities and conversations that
produce most of your results.
Put up a "Do not
disturb" sign when
have to get
w work done.
• Don't check email straight away. It
may add to your to-do list before you've
even started. Instead, finish a short task
before opening your email to give you a
greater sense of control.
• Be curious. It's easy to get caught in
habits. Routine is useful, but also stops
us fully experiencing the world. Take a
new route, meet someone new, set
yourself a challenge. All sorts of
unknown things might come out of it.
• Take your time. We tend to favour
quick results. But what might we
achieve if we decided to dedicate years,
rather than months, to something? What
project can we start that might sustain
our interest for a lifetime?
• Build a legacy now. As we reach old
age, our thoughts may turn to what we
want to contribute to the time that
comes after ours. Of course, we are all
building legacies all of the time, whether
actively or not.
• Block out other distractions like
Facebook and other forms of social
media unless you use these tools to
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