Master Distractions to Increase Productivity and Focus (with Mridu Parikh): Episode 264

Mridu Parikh is the creator of Life Is Organized. Mridu has helped working women increase billable time from one to five hours a day, create a routine to shed 15 pounds, and save 10 hours a week on emails and texts. She’s also been known to decrease overwhelm from a level 10 to a level 5 with just a few tweaks to your focus. Mridu’s strategies on streamlining tasks and mastering habits have been featured in The Huffington Post, US News & World Report, and Real Simple.

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Takeaways

  • Mridu says that the number one skillset to try and build is focus. It’s a hard skill to build, but it’s one of the most important. If you can start focusing on small increments of time, you can get so much more done. Shift your mindset from thinking “I have to work 6 hours today.” Think instead of how you can fit your work into 3 or 4 hours, breaking it down into 20 or 30 minute increments. Get creative and work on focus.
  • How to get laser focused:
    • Physical: clear off your workspace and any physical distractions you have. Get rid of the papers, the coffee mugs, the post-its, the magazines. Get into a clean workspace.
    • Mental: all the thoughts that pop into your head–keep a pad of paper next to you. If a thought pops into your head of something you have to do, just write it down so you can remember it when you’re done working. Also put your phone on do not disturb for the time increment you’re working.
  • Mridu says that one of the reasons our minds get so scattered when we’re focused is because if something we have to do pops into our mind, our brain goes into a mode of trying not to forget it, so instead of coming back to it, our instinct is to go do its right away. This is why Mridu recommends having a small notepad next to you while working, so you can write it down without the fear of forgetting, then get back to work.
  • Use that pomodoro timer to set your increments. Mridu says not to use a clock or watch–because physiologically we see time going away from us, when you use the pomodoro timer, physiologically time is coming down, and you’re working towards a signal, so you’re more likely to stick with it.
  • Mridu says that kids love timers! When you set that timer goal for yourself, use its for the kids too! Use a reward system so they can work towards a goal with you.
  • 50 minutes is the most you should work without taking a break. Mridu says that it helps to get physical movement and going more than an hour can sometimes effect your body. So take those breaks, prioritize your body even while you work.
  • Mridu’s weekly structure:
    • Monday is her creation day–writing, working on podcast, etc.
    • 2 days a week are strategy/ project work
    • 1 day a week of finance/ admin
    • 1 day a week of marketing
  • She says that you should put one focus on each day. That it really helps to hone in on certain projects for certain days of the week. You can do this for personal things too–Saturdays are her laundry shopping day. Set those days for certain tasks and watch your productivity soar!
  • Mridu’s systems to increase productivity.
    • Meal planning
    • Home routines for laundry
    • Using spreadsheets to track workflow and systems
  • The software Mridu recommends:
    • Project management: Notion
    • Google Drive: Her personal documentations (podcast scripts, documentation, etc.)
    • Organization for list making: Evernote
  • Mridu masters her calendar by really planning things out. Have a simple workflow, put things on the calendar and do the research behind each thing you have on your calendar.
  • Making a to-do list:
    • Step 1: Brain dump everything you have to do.
    • Step 2: Pick 3 immediate actions that you can get going on immediately and put them on a sticky note–have it be your visual anchor where you can only see those 3 tasks at a time.
    • Step 3: Then go back to your big list and pick 3 more tasks and keep repeating this process.

 

Highlights

  • (1:51) A little more about Mridu, and how she got into the productivity space.
  • (3:25) How busy moms can be more productive at work and be more present at home.
  • (4:42) How to get laser focused: physically and mentally.
  • (6:03) Tips to block out distractions while your work.
  • (7:15) Why you should use a pomodoro timer instead of a clock.
  • (7:59) How to keep your focus even if you don’t have an office space
  • (9:15) What Mridu does with mom brain.
  • (11:21) Is there a limit of how much work you should do at one time before taking a break?
  • (13:02) What if your kids are acting out during your timer?
  • (14:19) Mridu’s weekly structure for success.
  • (16:14) Systems to increase productivity.
  • (18:05) Tools and software Mridu uses for workflow and systems.
  • (20:10) How Mridu masters her calendar?
  • (22:43) Follow your own boundaries.
  • (23:10) 2 steps for making a to-do list.
  • (24:39) One of the best books Mridu’s read.
  • (25:14) What it means to Mridu to make an impact.
  • (25:49) Where to connect with Mridu?

 

Quotes

“Every time you think you’re going to remember that, change it around and say I’m not going to remember that.”

“Give yourself grace.”

 

Resources

Connect with Mridu

lifeisorganized.com/resources

Instagram: @lifeisorganized

Facebook: Life Is Organized

Programs mentioned in the episode:

Notion.com

evernote.com

Books mentioned in the episode:

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Watch Full Episode:

Master Distractions to Increase Productivity and Focus (with Mridu Parikh): Episode 264

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Hey! I’m Rachel. I’m a former Big Ten volleyball player turned entrepreneur and professional cheese taster (kidding–but that would be a sweet job).

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