Have you ever wondered how some people manage to do all they do? They write a blog, upload videos, have a thriving creative business, volunteer, take care of their family, and they look fabulous while doing all of it.
It’s like they have at least 37 hours a day, where you only get 24.
Where do they get all that time? Do they have a time machine or a time turner?
It turns out, neither. Their secret has nothing to do with the amount of time they have.
In fact, you can have all the time in the world and you can sit in front of your computer for hours, not getting anything done. You can browse and chat and stare at the blank page on your screen, and accomplish nothing.
In the end of the day you feel:
unsatisfied with what you've accomplished
as if you haven't got enough done even though you've worked 15 hours
guilty for taking so many breaks
not good enough for this job
If this sounds like you, I have a simple but very effective remedy for your pain—this is one of the secrets of having more time to create.
Yes, you heard me right, I’m suggesting you switch off your wi-fi, 3G, 4G, (don’t switch your 1 g though, you’ll need gravity to work) and sit down alone at your desk.
Sounds simple right?
Go try it for 15 minutes and we’ll talk again.
Correct me, if I’m wrong but you can’t recall the last time you were offline for longer than an hour.
Sometimes I have the feeling I live online. Every device I have is somehow connected to the skies and I have a universe of information, entertainment and communication channels right there, under my fingertips.
And then I wonder why I can say no to the dark chocolate in the evening—my willpower to refuse temptations is completely depleted by the time I reach dinner.
So, new plan.
One way to have more time for the important things is to control how you spend your time. (Remember: your life, your rules)
As simple as it sounds, disconnecting has the power to transform your life. For me it was one of the most liberating things I’ve done in years (ever since I started doing yoga and my body was free of its connective tissue shackles)
Look, I'm not suggesting you shut yourself completely off with only your HAM radio in the attic.
What I'm suggesting is having dedicated online and offline time.
Writing, painting, designing, and so on—all creative endeavours are solitary activities.
No group activity, without the corresponding deep work in solitude, has ever produced anything significant.
Think about it, research it, or take my word for it.
Meaningful, creative work has been done in solitude since the dawn of time.
So, go offline.
Sit down and think, feel, talk to your inner ghosts, grind and keep at it.
"But I need internet to work."
Most of us do. But we need it to communicate and to research. Not to create. So here is how to disconnect and get more things done.
1. Prepare your workplace for disconnected undistracted work.
Switch Google Docs for OpenOffice or Word. Online tools are great if you have a team but if you are a one-woman-shop you are staying online for no reason at all. Find offline alternatives to all your tools.
And even if you have a team, communication and deep work are two different kinds of work. You can't and shouldn't do them at the same time, so why stay online all the time?
2. Schedule online time, NOT offline time
Plan your day around the time you have to create, not the time for communication and research.
I spend the whole day offline and have two dedicated hours of online time twice a day, in which I deal with emails, update social media, sync anything that needs syncing and get my 15min of mindless browsing if I need a distraction.
You might need more or less and each day will be different. Have a trial week and decide what works for you.
It's what you do offline that will make the most difference in your business and life.
What do you think? I'd love to hear from you.
Do you struggle with staying off social media sites and other distractions while working? Do you disconnect when you want to be undisturbed and get some quality work done? Do you get anxious and have the feeling you are missing out when you disconnect?
Thanks for reading & stay inspired!