I had to share this terribly useful focus methodology that’ll help you get stuff done at work. This is of particular significance to those who are drowning in social media (hint to self). But, I digress.

Here are some useful tips in maintaining a zone of concentration while at work.


While you’re enjoying the thought of such a simple/effective workstyle, go grab a print-friendly PDF of these simple productivity tips that you can hang in your work cube.

[Hat tip: Caterina Fake via Practicalist]

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  1. Quora

    How can I increase my productivity?…

    I agree with a lot of salient points that Yishan Wong raises, esp. batched email / IM processing, but I guess it’s effectiveness also depends on what kind of role you find yourself. For someone in Public Relations that just may not work out. That said…

  2. Mario Sundar


    Unfortunately, Singletasking works only within the confines of the work environment you’re immersed in. Beyond that it’s just a personal decision that you choose to take weighing the different options. My only piece of advice would be to not stretch yourself too thin since that may impact your health.

    Feel free to email me directly if you’ve any further questions.

  3. NH

    Hi Mario,

    I like your tips however I have a few questions to ask:

    – What if your boss interrupts you on one side and you have an extremely underperforming performing employee on the other side ?

    – My boss absolutely loves meetings and most of the times they consume my whole day which means I have to stay back until 9pm to actually catch up on work – any suggestions to tackle that.
    I must mention here my boss thinks it’s important to attend all the meetings and has just one solution for this problem – deal with it !!

    This is really affecting my personal life and my physical health – I wud appreciate your suggestions.


  4. Mario Sundar


    You may be in need of singletasking. Much like I do 🙂


  5. Morten Skogly

    I think I will try the exact opposite 🙂

  6. William

    Absolutely simplistic. And much needed. Which is why I’m responding to this at 4 a.m in the morning

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  11. Eric Herberholz

    Thinking beyond Email, realizing that the list could get very long, we could also allow for socializing (e.g. Twitter) and exploring (e.g. wondering the web, and reading RSS feeds).

  12. erich13

    This concept of Singletasking strikes a chord with me, and inspires me to try it out and possibly define my own definition. Thanks!

  13. Jay Philips

    No emails on evenings or weekends? That doesn’t work for me because that’s when I promote my business and look for my next project. During the day I work on client work so I don’t get any marketing done.

    I have pulled away from checking my email so much but haven’t pulled away from twittering yet.

  14. Tom Myer

    For a while I had a pretty effective routine going. In my moleskine I’d put in three activity slots for the morning and three in the afternoon. A meeting counted as an activity, as did any task that required at least an hour of concentration. If I had five or six calls/emails to make, I would group them into one slot.

    It was always interesting to see how many interruptions I would get. A good day usually ended up with 1 or 2 things done in the morning (mostly because I was getting up at 5am), maybe 1 other thing in the afternoon.

  15. Stuart G Hall

    Yep that’s a good method. Use a version of that myself. OK, back to work.

  16. viggie

    single tasking works only if we believe in it. Too easy to nod in agreement & get back to chaotic world.

    Needs stronger will power to plunge & stay for at least 3 months. Once used to it for 3 months or so, it will be easier to practice.

  17. Neal

    Excellent 🙂 Something to keep in mind for me at certain points of the day. Only required for certain job types but I know I’ll be printing it out…

  18. Gi-Gi

    no email evenings/weekends and leaving at 6… I just remembered what living in the UK was like. Next you’ll be suggesting 6 weeks paid vacation!

  19. Tyson Goodridge

    I read similar themes, stories and anecdotes in “the four hour workweek” A great read. Trying to do that as well- old habits die hard…

  20. dave gilbertson

    no email on evenings or weekends?

    these are great rule guidelines and probably would make me a better person, but i take exception with that as well as stop work at 6pm everyday no matter what.

  21. Kamna Narain

    Not sure about the no e-mail on weekends and evenings? For real? Even with cell phones?

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  23. Mario Sundar

    you mean, just one task the whole day vs. one task at a time? 🙂

  24. getzsch

    I prefer monotasking. Or unitasking?

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