Western corporate tradition, created in a flurry of neckties and memos over the last 50 years, tells us we must get more done by working faster. As a result, many of us do a lot of ‘stuff’ and are very busy being busy without actually achieving any of the awesome results that we’re gunning for.

You’re probably reading this while doing something else – we love the concept of multi-tasking because common sense tell is that the more we do, the more gets done.

Well often, common sense is an idiot.

If we’re not being productive, maybe we should stop working and do something else that might lead us toward a more productive day, rather than focusing on an unproductive moment.

Breath. I know you’re already breathing, but lean back right now and take 5 deep breaths – humour me. Concentrate on the breaths and think of nothing else. There, you’re meditating. Now look at your desk, what are you doing right now? What are you trying to accomplish? Now write that 1 thing down.

Don’t react. Over the next 25 minutes, the world is going to throw something into the mix that’s going to make you react. Perhaps a text message or another job to do or Morag the Manager asking you to do something else ‘at some stage….soon.’ Take another 5 breaths and realise that reacting is stressful and creates a lack of productivity.  Tell Morag you’ll put it on your list, do so, and get back to what you were doing. Oh, if Morag isn’t going to allow you to be effective, perhaps it’s time to rethink where you’re working.

25 minutes. Speaking of 25 minutes, put a timer on your phone and work at your one thing for 25 minutes, no internet, no phone, no nothing just 25 tiny little minutes of pure concentration on the task at hand, the number 1 task you wrote down earlier.

Remember to work calmly and with no ‘sense of urgency’ (panic) just breath deeply and do the job well and if you get distracted (you will, you’re human) don’t be your own bad manager, forgive yourself, take another 5 breaths and then you’ll know what to do.