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Keep Your Head Down to Stay Productive


There’s one simple way for people to stay focused and boost productivity: simply keep your head down. Justin Jackson is writing a book about productive creatives and he found that each had the same habit of having completely focused, or heads down, time.

A great deal of our problems with productivity are caused by distractions, or because we always have our heads up. We are on social media websites, always checking emails, scheduling and attending meetings, frequenting news websites, constantly opening new tabs and thinking of other projects. All these distractions that keep you unfocused and take you away from the task at hand keep you so distracted that you are thinking of something else every few minutes.

To create focused heads down time, you first need figure out your priorities and focus on one task and/or project at a time. What is the most important item on your to-do list? Get that done first. If you are working with a team, create this list together.

Then you need to find a workspace that cancels out distractions. Make sure this area is comfortable and has everything you need to complete work. If you work from home and have kids, pets, or anything or one else that might take your attention away from work, you should consider an office away from home.

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Figure out what time of day you are most productive and dedicate that time to working, distraction-free, quiet and alone. For some this might be early in the morning, and for others this might be late at night.

Lastly, get rid of notifications and pop-ups. Close your Twitter app, instant messengers, and email window, and block off any websites that might tempt you.

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! How do you give yourself focused heads-down time? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments!

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office worker head down

(Photo credit: c miya227 –

Marissa Brassfield
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