Instant solution to reduce distractions

Do you waste hours everyday on your computer, checking your facebook or twitter account or email inbox?

Just follow this simple rule below and reduce your distractions instantly.

Block your distracting sites on your computer and use only your mobile phone or tablet to check your Social Networking updates or Email.

Simple, right? Not too difficult.

The beauty of this method is that you don’t block Facebook/Twitter completely out of your life as that would be very hard for most of us today. But you make it a tad bit difficult and annoying by forcing yourself to look away from your desktop and using the smaller device. This works even better if you keep your mobile out of reach far away from your desk.

Reason this works: the context switch from your productive task to the unproductive task is so apparent to you because of the different devices you use, you can easily snap out of the distracting task within minutes and get back to your work. Making the conscious effort to waste time, makes you realise that you waste time.

So try this out for at least a week and see how much your productivity has improved. Tomorrow I will tell you how to track your productivity on your computer with a software which runs silently in the background.

Tip: To block particular websites, try theĀ StayFocusd extension for Chrome. Similar plugins for other browsers shouldn’t be hard to find.

How to achieve your goals 85% faster

Have you wanted to lose weight, but couldn’t get yourself off your butt and go for the jog every morning?

Or have you always wanted to invest your money for the future, but can’t save hundreds of dollars every month?

Or you have this amazing idea for a startup, but don’t have the courage to quit your job to work on it?

Everyone has long term goals like these, but we don’t start working on them.
Reason: We want to commit to the goal 100% and be sure that it would work. And we are not even sure if we could continue working towards the goal every day.

The solution to this is to have something which works good enough today – something which works 85% of the time. This is what Ramit Sethi of “I will teach you to be rich” calls “The 85% solution” in his book.

If you want to hit the gym every morning, start by going atleast 1 day every week. Do it for a month and gradually increase it to 3 days a week and so on.

Want to save few hundred dollars every month? How about setting up a monthly automatic transfer for $50 today. Most of us can live if we don’t have that $50 this month. After couple of months increase it to $100 or something higher.

About your startup, why not work for just an hour every night after your day job? Thats about 7 hours (even more if you put in extra hours during the weekend) every week and it adds up to 30 hours every month.

The idea behind this is to have a system which will make you get started with as minimal effort as possible. The start is the most important part and once you find it is working, soon inertia will make sure that you keep going. And using this method means, you won’t feel guilty even if you didn’t go to the gym for 1 day.

85% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

This is what I decided for Blogial. I could’ve waited for my entire life to build the custom blogging application in Django or I could start today with just just a wordpress install and the default theme and write good content. The wordpress route is the 85% solution and it is far better than the Django App which doesn’t even work yet.

So go out and work out in the gym today and don’t worry about tomorrow. Remember doing it once a week is better than thinking of doing it every day.