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The One-Touch Method: The Ultimate Productivity Rule

Plus, a bit of inbox management advice…

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Let me tell you a little something about me. For all my über-organised, tidy to the point of anal, Virgo personality traits, there is one thing that I’m really, really good at, that when you look at the rest of my qualities doesn’t really match up. Oh yes – I’M THE QUEEN OF PROCRASTINATION. All my teacher’s reports, even those from my younger years, feature the line ‘Anna is easily distracted by others‘ and to this day it couldn’t be more true. I love to be distracted. Fluffy little kitten Facebook videos are my jam. I can scroll through Human’s of New York for hours. I find myself in a vortex of cute proposals and soldier’s coming home from war videos on YouTube and sob for a good hour. I re-watch Parks & Recreation, Friend’s episodes and YouTube videos that I’ve seen before a million and one times (Jenna Marbles shaving off her eyebrows video is a personal favourite). You get the gist…

I was never that bad when I worked in an office. I found it easier to get into a groove, although I can hand on my heart say that I definitely wasn’t the most efficient worker there. Working from home has obviously exacerbated the issue and when there’s no one around to say ‘Oi Anna! Stop watching that video of how to make baked camembert in its own little bread bowl! You’ve seen it before!’, it becomes a bit of a problem.

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The first stage to a resolution of all of this though is admitting it, right? So this year I’ve been determined to stay a little more on task, keep focus and get back into the swing of things productivity-wise. Actually, my 10-day home alone stint whilst Mark was away kicked it off nicely. There were only three tasks that I did on repeat; watch Sex and The City, eat, then edit/write/answer emails. It wasn’t the most gripping time of my life, but it enabled me to get ahead with blog posts and videos, which in turn frees up time for me to get more creative with them. WIN, WIN.

The lack of distractions is one thing, but now I’m back in excited puppy mode with my companion back it’s time to employ another method. This is where once again I looked to the amazing Monica for advice. Over the past couple of months she’s become my oracle for life know-how – if that girl wrote a book I would pre-order that shiz on Amazon immediately. This post about ‘The One Touch Technique’ was exactly what I was looking for one day whilst I was procrastinating – oh the irony.

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The idea is simple. Once you’ve touched ‘on’ to a task – say opening up your post in the morning – you completely finish it before you begin something else. So whether you have to RSVP to an invite or file away some paperwork, you actually do it then and there without saving it for later (a.k.a – ‘I’ll do it in 3 weeks time’). In theory it’s awesome, but of course in practice you might not have necessarily everything you need on hand at that particular time to finish a task.

I’m currently physically unable to apply this 100% of the time, but I do find it really handy for two things: writing blog posts and tackling my inbox. Now, when I’m writing a post I’ll aim to completely polish it off and write the whole thing before I go browsing down my social media rabbit hole or make lunch. The same goes for my emails. I keep my mail app closed until I actually have time to respond to everything that’s in there, instead of refreshing it every two minutes, looking at what’s in there and then taking an age to reply. If I haven’t got time to respond then and there then I wait until I can. Side note: Caroline’s tip about only checking your inbox three times a day – I aim for morning, lunchtime and late afternoon – is genius.

UPDATE: Whilst writing this post I only got distracted three times. I think that’s a new record. Thanks Monica!

Photos by Lauren Shipley


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Comments

  • The slow pace

    So I’m not the only one watching cute proposals or soldiers coming home videos on repeat… Just add emotional pregnancy announcements, and that’s my everyday spiral of procrastination :/

    And now, excuse me because I was writing a post and I feel guilty so I better go and finish it!

  • fatou diaw

    I want to start doing this.
    https://closettostreet.com/

  • You’re too real. I adore it – love your blog <3

    -sb

  • lateshift

    friendly protip: plural’s don’t alway’s need apostrophe’s. Or ever, really. They actually don’t ever need them. (like, say, “Friend’s.” Or “Human’s.” Those are actually the easiest to remember, since they’re famous titles created by someone else, and if you look at the titles on an episode or on that webpage, there’s no apostrophe. But if you can’t remember: spellcheck helps!)

  • monicawelburn

    Aw Anna, I am so happy to hear that the technique resonates with you!

    I think we can all empathise with those internet rabbit holes! The one touch technique was a game-changer for me – I am forever thanking the friend who taught me too!

    Thank you so much for sharing this with your readers, whoop for more productive days ahead!

    Big love, Monica x

  • I don’t get distracted at the office at all, but once I am home, things get really, really bad. To try and be as productive as possible in my few hours to work on the blog (work, kids, household chores, all that comes first), I made the rule to only check You Tube/Netflix/mails after 9 pm. Works, but isn’t much fun.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • This is such a good idea! I’m so bad for starting something and then forgetting all about it 5 minutes later. I might try an adopt this x

    Tiffany Tales – Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  • Awesome productivity tip! I will have to try that!!

    Laila from Townhouse Palette

  • This is great advice! Thank you for sharing Anna!
    I have been doing this when writing e-mails and posts.
    Much love xx
    http://www.lienasnow.com

  • Ahh i need this technique. I always tell myself ok i need to do to xyz task, begin said task, and then get distracted by youtube/gilmore girls or end up chatting with mum when she’s around (which is great but yknow you sometimes stuff has to be done haha!)

    ♡ Carina – Blog // YouTube

  • Oh wow. I am going to try this next week! Thanks Anna!

    Kristine | http://www.callmekristine.com

  • Great tip! I procrastinate all the time, and I definitly need to figure it out. I’m going to try this next week! Thanks for sharing!
    -Maddy
    Cheers-Maddy.com

  • I feel like this tip could change my life. Thank Anna xx

    http://chloeharriets.com/

  • I totally get you there, my virgo personality also means despite being super organised I am the biggest procrastinator ever!
    Izzy | http://www.pinchofdelight.com

  • LOVE this idea it’s so so simple but I can see it working super effectively

    – Natalie
    http://www.workovereasy.com

  • HarrisonBeach

    I definitely need to do a post like these over on my blog… procrastination kills me sometimes!!

    byharrison.blogspot.co.uk

  • Sasha Harding

    What is this amazing looking cake featuring in these photos? Looks delicious! And I loved this post 🙂

  • I am such a cheeky monkey when it comes to procrastinating!

    Tonight I came home from work with 10+ tabs open on my Google Chrome window because I have a very nasty habit of not seeing a task through from start to finish in one sitting – instead I will open a post and the start to think about SEO and then from this start to think about the fact that my site doesn’t have a site map and that I have no idea whether or not all of my links have the ‘nofollow’ attribute attached or not…

    See I did it again!

    Emma | HarmonyBlaze.co.uk

  • That’s such a good tip. I always find myself starting 3 different tasks at once and it means that I’m never really giving my full attention to either of them haha. Friends is the ultimate distraction, I can never get enough! ♥

    Amy // Snippets of Amy

  • Good tip, I procrastinate so much, I needed this. My name is Brandy and its nice to meet you all. Have a blessed day. http://whimsicalwolfblog.com/

  • elisha mae

    Brilliant as always Anna and love the blue theme running throughout your photos! Lovely touch.

    Elisha-Maé | http://www.elisha-mae.co.uk

  • As organised as I am, I struggle with being distracted so much! I try to also finish a task before moving onto something else, but often the task is so big I have to do something else in between 😀

    Lii
    https://byliil.wordpress.com/

  • I really love this and have started doing this method the last few weeks at work…I definitely check my email too often and it stops my productivity level! Frankie x

    http://www.joieandthevivre.com

  • That is a great tip. Finish what you start. (Check!) Sounds easy but believe me, I know it’s not!!

    Alina
    http://www.eclecticalu.blogspot.com

    P.S. Anna, if you ever happen to get distracted by one of my videos that would make me proud! 😀

  • I’m definitely going to try to implement this. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Thanks for the inspo! I’m a Virgo myself and find my to-do-list being way too long most of the time, so that I never start… but really like your point of just doing one thing properly!
    xx finja | http://www.effcaa.com

  • This is an awesome tip. This is what I stick to subconsciously anyway.

    Arden | Missing Wanderer

  • I definitely need to try this, I always pick up my phone or wonder whether I should get some snacks to fuel the inevitable – just need to get it done when I start!

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Beauty Wellbeing

  • Lisa Autumn

    This sounds so simple but amazing 🙂

    xx Lisa
    lisaautumn.com

  • kforkarli

    Shop the post?! More like, bake the post! That slice/muesli bar looks amazing!

  • Megan McCormick

    I love the simplicity of this! I will definitely be implementing it into my work routine!

    Megan | http://www.masteringhealth.co

  • Natalie

    Great advice! You are absolutely right – it sounds simple but it truly isn’t!

    http://www.careeba.com