How to Work More Productively and Have More Free Time

Liam Martin is the co-founder of Time Doctor, a productivity software with the largest second-by-second work database in the world. Time Doctor has been proven to increase worker productivity by an average 22% and is a fast-growing tool that’s being increasingly used by major companies.

In this episode, Liam shares his key research findings on worker productivity. If you’re somebody who could benefit from effective time management strategies, or you’re simply curious about the science and psychology behind distraction, this is an episode you won’t want to miss.

In Liam’s episode, you’ll learn:

  • The productivity cost of having notifications like Facebook turned on (it’s much higher than you think!)
  • Strategies to optimize productivity… a.k.a. work fewer hours.
  • The “distraction economy” – why billions have been invested into distracting you and how to defend yourself from potential threats to your productivity.

Key lessons from Liam’s episode:

1. Optimal Productivity Requires a Distraction-Free Work Zone. For a moment, I want you to visualize your typical work zone in your mind’s eye. Where do you work? Do you work in the presence of others—perhaps at a library, or at your local trendy coffee shop? Do you listen to music while you work? Is your phone easily accessible? Are notifications turned on? Do you often hop between multiple tabs?

Chances are, you said yes to a few of the questions above. And it’s no wonder. The average millennial work environment is distraction-laden, with a typical worker getting only 3 hours worth of work done of the 8 they work. The other 5 hours are filled with Facebook memes, chatty rendezvous at the water cooler, and mindless web surfing.

Time Doctor’s research shows that the most productive work occurs inside a distraction-free work zone. This means making yourself 100% unavailable to outside distractions and notifications while you work.

“Get yourself into a flow state and create a sacred space,” Liam says.

For optimal productivity, consider adopting these principles:

  • Work in a secluded, private room.
  • Disable notifications on your computer and mobile device(s).
  • Only have open tabs that are relevant to your current task.
  • Declutter your computer desktop.
  • Dedicate yourself to only one task at a time, and suppress the impulse to do anything unrelated to that task for an allotted time period.
  • Install useful browser plug-ins, like:

2. Distractions Come at a High Cost. According to Time Doctor’s research, the cost of opening a single notification—for example, clicking on an incoming message from your friend via Facebook Messenger—is a whopping 16 minutes.

Yes, 16 minutes! (Not one minute, like we tell ourselves it will take 😉 ).

How many times do you click on incoming notifications in a single hour (emails, texts, reminders, etc.)? How about in a typical day? The point is, it all really starts to add up.

3. You Can Beat Distractions With Mindfulness. Time Doctor’s software is designed to minimize the amount of times you get baited by incoming distractions. It’s based on the simple philosophy of mindfulness—when you bring awareness to an unconscious process, you gain the power to make a conscious choice about it.

Here’s how it works… Time Doctor assigns you one task at one time. That way, you can execute with laser-sharp focus. As soon as a distraction (like a notification) comes along, if you attempt to pursue the distraction (by opening a new tab or a new app), Time Doctor will flash an alert on your screen.

“You’re now leaving productivity town and are headed to distractionville,” Liam jokes.

What might have been an unconscious habit, you’re now forced to consciously evaluate.

Imagine a friend who gently holds a mirror up to your behavior, reminding you of your goals and asking you to consider if the choice you’re considering making is in alignment with those goals.

Of course, you’re in the driver’s seat. You can always choose to pursue the distraction anyways, but the difference is, you’re now making an informed choice, fully aware.

Bringing mindfulness around your work zone has been proven to powerfully increase productivity. Time Doctor’s research shows the average worker gets 22% more done in a day using its software.

What does 22% of your work day translate into? For the average 9 to 5er, that’s nearly two hours of your workday freed up.