If you’ve ever run long distances, you know what being in the zone means.  You shut off the rest of the world, your vision tunnelize, sounds seems to come from far away. You’re in. You’re focused on one thing.

Getting in the zone seems increasingly difficult if you work in front of a computer. Between your email client, your mobile phone, your co-workers, Twitter/Facebook/Google+ and the gazillion browser tabs you have no open, no wonder you’re struggling to stay away from watching videos like this:

I am struggling too. But right now I need to be 1000% more productive than usual as we’re in the final stretch toward a our social recruiting product launch at matchFWD.

Yet I know a couple things that just work:

  • Come in early, stay late or phase out your lunch: Less people in the office, less distraction.
  • Leave your mobile in your coat. On vibration: Your girlfriend, your mom and your friends might hate it, but you just cut yourself of one major distraction. And your bill might even shrink. Not really.
  • Use 2 computers: one for work, one for communications and social network. You focus on one part of your work at a time. Don’t have access to a second computer? Use Spaces on Mac.
  • Ban time-wasting sites: I user Chrome Nanny to ban myself from Facebook, Youtube and a list of blogs during core hours.
  • Put your headphones on: Even without music, people will think twice before interrupting you.
  • Read only one TODO list at a time: I keep a list on my desk, on my phone, in my notebook, in my bug tracker, I share one with my designer. Yet when I am looking for the next thing to do, I look at one list first and finish it before moving to another one.
  • Have everything handy: I start the day with a coffee cup, a bottle of water, a full place of fruits, enough paper and everything else I’ll need to complete the day.
  • Stop reading blogs about productivity. Seriously.

What’s your trick?


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