How to Avoid Distractions and Finish What You

Ever wonder how I get so much done? Me too. That’s why I decided to document my productivity methods so everyone can learn from them. Here’s my step-by-step process for being incredibly productive.

First, I realize it’s 4pm and I haven’t gotten anything done yet. This makes me panic a bit. However, instead of accepting the panic, or pushing through it, I pile it on by realizing it’s already April and I’ve gotten nothing done this year. Then I torture myself with thinking about how I’m almost 40, and I have maybe only 30 good years of my life left. Then I think about how something horrible could happen to me at any moment — a disease, a frozen yogurt accident, anything — and how mad I’d be at myself for wasting so much time doing absolutely nothing.

This puts me in a good spot for my next step: remembering an article I read 4 months ago about productivity. Reading it again (or for real this time) is just what I need. So I get on Medium and begin to search for this magical article, when I see this headline:

How I Wrote 500 Blogposts and 36 Best-Selling Books in Less Than a Month

Now, in what is arguably my proudest moment of the day, I decide this is the article that’s going to change my life forever despite the fact that I’ve read 18 other articles just like it in the past 2 days.

My next step is obviously to follow all the advice in this article. The article tells me I need Evernote and an app called Drafts. I go to and see this:

What’s my goal? I sit and stare at this image for several seconds. Organize my life? Yes. I need to be more organized so I can be more productive. Be more productive? That’s what I just said. Take better notes? Yes, I need to take better notes so I’m not starting from scratch everyday so I can be more organized and be more productive and the point is, I need all of these things but I can only click on one, how can I only click on one?

Getting on Twitter is my logical next step. I tweet the image with the caption “An over-thinker’s worst nightmare.” I am momentarily proud.

These next few steps are a little hard to follow but definitely do the trick. In between checking to see how my tweet is doing, I download Evernote, and Evernote Web Clips, and they tell me to watch some videos so I do that, then I try to download Drafts on my phone but my phone needs an iOS update so I try to just download Evernote on my phone but that needs an update too, I think about deleting my tweet but it got a retweet so I leave it, then I start updating my iOS and figure tweeting is the best thing to do while I wait.

Finally, the shame. This is the best part of my day because it’s late enough for a glass of wine to be acceptable, but still early enough to be pretty drunk before I start watching Vanderpump Rules.

At this point, it’s time to call it a day and start my process of productivity all over again tomorrow afternoon.

What are your trips and ticks for being more productive? Spend an hour or two writing them in the comments below and keep coming back to see if anyone liked or responded to your comment and perhaps get into some meaningless argument that eats up your whole morning!

About the author

Sarah Cooper

Sarah Cooper is an author and speaker. Her first book, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, landed at #1 on Amazon in the Books > Humor > Business humor > Paperback books > Books with pages > Handheld books category.

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