Improve Productivity - An UnReal Solution

In small business, productivity is everything. Here's one way to improve it...

I could give you the top 10 ways to improve your productivity. I could give you 5, or even 7, but writing all those would probably decrease my productivity and that's not what this is about, so today you get just one.

That's right, one little nugget of joy which will (and by will I mean may...) help you and your business to improve your productivity:

Get UnReal.

So much in the world today is all about the here and now. We want things instantly, we want to be informed constantly and we don't want to have to grind our own coffee and wait for it to taste just right... This seems to be a common thread running through the marketing campaigns of many businesses both big and small.

Technology goes the extra mile to ensure that products and/or services are available to you constantly. If your job involves sitting in front of a computer with internet access (are there any other kinds any more??) all day, you will probably be familiar with one or more of the following:

Email: Email clients usually have a little notification box that pops up to let you know when new mail arrives. Not wanting to miss anything important, we often have this set to check for new mail every minute or two. The notification window encourages us to look, and therefore don't miss any important emails, right?

Facebook: Website browsers made it possible to have multiple windows open so you can quickly flick between them, using Tabs. Many people have Facebook open in one tab, and then use this tabbed system to work in other windows. When you receive a new notification, the title of facebook's tab changes to tell you how many notifications you have, ensuring that you don't miss a notification.

Google Analytics: Having recently released Google Analytics Real Time, Google have obviously also cottoned on to this mindeset. With no form of notifications, they simply rely on their awesome-ness to keep you coming back... and you do... because they are...

The problem with all this real time, is that you are constantly distracted from what you are doing. tells me that it can take up to 15 minutes to regain complete focus after a distraction, and when you do some basic maths, being distracted just 8 times in a day is enough for you to lose up to 2 hours of productivity!

So how do you get UnReal and improve your productivity? I'm sure there are many ways but here is a start:

  1. Set your email client so it doesn't check automatically. Set aside 3 times each day for checking emails. In the morning, after lunch and just before you go home.
  2. Set aside certain times for managing your social media outlets. For example, you might decide that first thing in the morning and last thing in the day are sufficient.
  3. While Google Analytics Real Time is amazingly cool, there is no information available to you NOW that won't be available to you TOMORROW. I have yet to think of a situation where someone would absolutely need to know at any given second what is happening on their website, so again, set aside a bit of time to check your stats from the day before, then close it down.

There you have it, the unreal guide to improving your productivity!