Best-selling The Personal MBA author Josh Kaufman is great at showing independent businesspeople how they can use free and low-cost resources to master their work.
Like myself, he is the father to a young family and works from home. Kaufman shared one of his productivity secrets on entrepreneur Tara Gentile's "Profit. Power. Pursuit." podcast:
I'm actually thinking about taking the Internet out of my office entirely. The more you can make it harder for yourself to focus on anything else, that's valuable. I think there's a lot to be said for "strategic boredom". Just removing all the other things that could be potential distractions... just get rid of them temporarily. And if you can make what you want to do the most interesting thing that you have in your environment, then a lot more gets done that way.
Kaufman is right on many levels. As you may have read in my previous columns, Harvard Business Review recently citied a study showing that purposely not doing anything - what Kaufman calls "strategic boredom" - actually made people more productive when they decided to become active again. Ideas are more thoughtful and energy is more focused.
Kaufman's argument is also brilliant in its result: Whatever you are doing, whether it is a strategy session, a pitch deck or a new manuscript, has to be the most interesting thing happening in your world at that moment. Your social media timeline, mindless busy work and other potential distractions have no place here. Personally, I've found my own work elevated when I minimize the amount of focal points I have - which sometimes means physically unplugging the Internet. I'm not the only one.
When is the last time you let yourself be a little bored? Your business deserves it.