4 mindfulness practices to supercharge your productivity

It’s 8:55am on Tuesday morning, you have big day ahead of you and know you’ve got a zillion things on your to-do list you need to get done.

While you’re drinking your morning coffee, you think to yourself - 

‘Oh, I’m just going to log into Facebook to see how my post went last night’.

You logon + check your stats, but quicker than you can say 'OMG I just saw Kim Kardashian naked' - a post from your favourite blogger caught your eye and you had to check it out.

Fast forward 30 minutes later you still haven’t started on your to-do list and feeling overwhelmed because you’ve just seen a whole bunch of posts that your entrepreneur pals have already done this morning and you’re so behind!

Well, hello. Welcome.

You’ve just been sucked into the digital time vortex: AKA productivity killer of the 21st Century.

I know, I can hear you saying it now - you need to keep your pulse on what’s happening - for your biz - but also because it’s where you find out super valuable information that can actually HELP you!!

I hear you.

BUT, and this is a big but… I want you to think about if this constant checking is actually helping you or hindering you from achieving your goals.

If you can truthfully say you think it is, read on this post is for you.

In our age of the digital ‘always on’ revolution we are constantly surrounded by notifications, sounds and enticing apps and social media sites (um hello, Facebook, Instagram + Pinterest) that we find it hard to resist the urge from checking in on as we have a big fear of missing out of something we might {read: can’t live without} need to know.

Today I want to share with you 4 simple mindfulness techniques that I use on a daily basis that have dramatically helped me to improve my focus and helped me get more done.

Since i started using these techniques I've gradually improved my ability to focus and hold my concentration + I’ve been able to achieve more in a day than I sometimes would in a week.

To put it simply, mindfulness is becoming aware of the present moment in time. Rather than thinking, worrying or stressing about the past or worrying about what we need to get done (AKA future-tripping), you focus all of your energy on the present.

Raise your awareness.

Because mindfulness is about focusing your energy on the present moment , the first step is to start becoming fully aware and raising your consciousness to the present moment.

The best example of this is driving a car. How many times have you been lost in your own thoughts as you’re driving - you’ve stopped paying attention to your surrounds because you’re on auto-pilot, completely absorbed by the mental chatter in your head.

Becoming aware of your thoughts takes a lot of practice, so don’t worry too much if it takes you a while to get the swing of it. 

The best way I’ve found is to keep a record of all the things that distract you during the day - whether it be your emails, checking your phone or logging on to Facebook to have a ‘quick look’.

The better you get at identifying these distractions and become aware of them, the better you’re able to set your environment up in a way that supports you to not allow them to trip you up.

Prioritize what you need to get done.

Next up is to prioritise what you need to get done. 

Before you go on and tell me how big your to-do list is and how impossible it is for you to be able to prioritise and get everything done, I want to share with you this:

There are always going to be more things you want/need to get done that you physically are able to fit into a day or even a week or a month. 

So give yourself permission right now to let yourself off the hook and be quit being burdened with this notion that you need to ‘get everything done’.

You don’t.

I want to introduce you to a new approach instead.

Think about what your overall goal is for the year - the one big thing that you really want to achieve more than anything else.

For example, it might be to generate $50,000 in revenue in your business, or it might be to sign on 5 new clients every month.

So then you need to work out what activities you need to be doing that are going to help you achieve this (this may be a long an exhaustive list!).

Then pick 3 of these activities you are going to focus on for TODAY only + write them down.

{tip: the intentional day planner has been created to help you achieve this!}

Here’s the thing: when you know what your priorities are it makes it a hell of a lot easier to know what you should be working on and what you need to ditch.

The biggest distraction and where we get tripped up is losing sight of what our main priority is and end up doing ‘busy work’ that’s not actually helping us achieve what we set out to.

Focus on one thing at a time.

Ok, so now you have your list of things you need to get done.

Next, I want you to pick one thing off your list you want to complete and commit to only focusing on completing this single task until it is done.

That means no checking Facebook; no starting another task and no reading a blog post while you’re doing it!

Despite what you may think, multi-tasking is not actually helping you get what you need to get done. In fact, it is only slowing you down.

Research from Stanford University has confirmed that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time.

"When {multi-taskers} are in situations where there are multiple sources of information coming from the external world or emerging out of memory, they're not able to filter out what's not relevant to their current goal," said Wagner, an associate professor of psychology. "That failure to filter means they're slowed down by that irrelevant information."

So start now, by close down all of the tabs in your browser.

If you need to, use Self Control app to block certain sites from being accessed.

Or better yet - switch off your wi-fi so that you’re not tempted to even jump on to the internet for a ‘quick look.'

Focusing on one task at a time is going to help you sustain your concentration and contribute to higher productivity and reaching your goals a whole lot faster.

Set yourself a timer.

Discovering the Pomordoro technique has literally changed my life.

I used to break my day up into hour-long blocks, but to be perfectly honest, I was increasingly finding this challenging because I kept getting distracted! 

I’d read about Pomordoro technique before but never fully got into it, but I’d a few people raving about it with huge success, so I decided to give it a shot.

How it works:

It’s simplicity is my favourite thing about using the Pomordoro method.

You literally set a timer for 25 minutes and commit to fully working on the task at hand for that period. At the end of the 25 minutes you can take a short break, before starting the next 25 minute session.

There is also a dedicated Pomodoro app which is awesome because you can set a goal for how many ‘Pomordoro’s’ you want to achieve in a day. I’ve found this to be super helpful in boosting productivity.

If you have trouble focusing for long periods, the Pomodoro technique is the perfect thing to try because it’s a short enough period for you not to want to give into your distractions, but long enough for you to actually achieve a significant amount of work.


Now over to you, I’d love to know if you too are guilty of letting distractions get in the way of getting sh*t done - what are some of the biggest things that trip you up?

And if you’ve been able to increase your focus, I’d love you to share what has worked well for you.