Focus on Your Flow, Not Your Checklist
Productivity hacks are great ways to become a more efficient worker. Unfortunately, sometimes we put too much emphasis on becoming more productive, and we lose focus on the quality of our work. This can be counterintuitive because although we are getting more done, the quality of the work completed is poor and we ultimately sell ourselves short.
A recent article on Entrepreneur focuses on the benefits of working while in a state of flow. Flow, as many of you already know, is the process of working during a period where you are entirely absorbed on one task at a time. You are not distracted by anything else and you're eager to work on whatever is in front of you.
If only getting into the state of flow could be achieved by the snap of the fingers, we would all be the ultimate achievers right? Right, only in a dream world. Getting into the flow can be difficult, but not impossible. We all work in sort of a set routine. Unfortunately, this routine does not account for distractions during our waking hours. Sometimes we are dialed in, sharp and on top of it, and sometimes our minds could not be further from our work. However, when you find the flow in this routine the magic can become a reoccurrence.
Keep track of periods of time when you get into the flow. Take note of how it came on, and how long it lasted. Make adjustments to your routine that accommodate the flow. Keep track of your progress, and the quality of work that happened during the flow. Do what you can to facilitate these periods of flow.
Theoretically, checklists and other productivity hacks make us more productive workers with a better turnout of work. Realistically, we focus more on checking things off the list than putting in quality work. Focus on getting into the flow, and working towards quality, rather than working towards crossing a certain task off the list.