Продуктивность 101

Steve Pavlina, “Productivity 101”, public translation into Russian from English More about this translation.

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3. Eliminate interruptions.

If you do any creative or information processing work, it’s imperative that you set aside blocks of time where you know you won’t be interrupted. This means no external interruptions as well as no interrupting yourself. You need serious blocks of time (2-3 hours minimum) with no email checking, no instant messaging, no web surfing, no phone calls, no drop-in visitors, etc.

Just knowing that you won’t be interrupted makes it so much easier to enter a flow state where you can get a lot of highly productive work done. Every time you get interrupted for a few minutes or longer, you can expect it to take at least 15 minutes to return to the flow state. A few seemingly minor interruptions each day adds up to a huge amount of wasted time every month — and for no benefit whatsoever.

When I’m working on a project or writing an article, I don’t check email. If the phone rings, I let it go to voicemail. I lock my office door and put up a Post-It note that says, “Writing Troll – Get Back!” which has a picture of a troll on it. When Erin and the kids see the troll, they know not to disturb me unless there’s a serious emergency. The troll is a warning. They know if that if they bypass the troll, they’ll be confronted by an ogre.

I routinely write new articles at a rate of 1000-1500 words per hour, measured from the time I get inspired by an idea to the time I click Publish. To write a 5000-word article might take me about 4 hours total. If I think I might be interrupted, I can’t write nearly as fast. I have to tune out the whole world and put myself in a place where nothing else exists but the topic I’m writing about. When I enter that flow state, writing becomes effortless. I’m usually not even conscious of the fact that my fingers are typing.

You set your own boundaries, so don’t even think about trying to blame others for your lack of productivity. If other people don’t respect your time, it’s because you’ve trained them to behave that way, if only through the mechanism of silent approval. Start showing more respect for time, and clarify your boundaries with others. You don’t have to be an ogre about it, but you do need to be firm. On the other hand, if people refuse to comply, then you have to ask yourself why you’d even want such disrespectful productivity vampires in your life.

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