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Hacks to be more productive and avoid distractions.

There have been quite a few lists along these lines in the last few days. I do all the wrong things...almost all the wrong things.

    1. I check email and social media first thing in the morning

    I have to keep my phone close overnight in case there is a fire department issue and someone calls me, this happens only occasionally. I get up around 5am most mornings. I go into the bathroom to brush my teeth and stuff and take a quick look at my phone for any emails or social media notifications. I don't necessarily reply to anything until I boot up my laptop but I know right away if anything pressing happened overnight.

    2. I have stock market television on much of the day

    Yes, there is far more noise than signal. But when something important happens, I will find out about much faster seeing it reported on Bloomberg (I gave up on CNBC years ago) than any way I'd find on the internet.

    3. I almost always answer email right away

    No one sends an email hoping they don't get a reply until the next day or even later than that. Plus, I view my day job as providing a service to my clients. Making clients wait unnecessarily seems like poor service.

    4. I hop from task to ask, often interrupting one task to do another

    For years, I worked on an equity trading desk. Often the action and the energy was hopping, requiring that you pay attention to several things at once. This occurs in the fire world too and I really enjoy that energy.

    Also, switching tasks can take the place of taking breaks.

    5. I avoid deadlines like the plague

    I very rarely come anywhere close to finishing something when it is due as opposed to finishing it much earlier. As mentioned in a previous post, there's an element of "something can't come up" to my life. If we have a wildfire here, I might have to devote several days to it and the exclusion of a lot of other things.

    6. I like certain distractions

    In the afternoon, I still have work to do but I like the distraction of daytime baseball. I subscribe to the MLB Extra Inning package through Directv. Distraction may not be the right word but I like having a game on in the background.

    7. One thing I do right?

    I don't check my phone once I go to bed. It is close and I will answer it if it rings, an emergency will be a phone call, but can usually sleep through the other sounds my phone makes.

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