How to manage time efficiently and increase your productivity – Part 1

24 January 2021

Beset by unproductive days, Lewis Byford, co-founder of Antony George, tried numerous solutions until he found the ones that worked for him. Here, in the first of a four part article, he shares his experience and the best techniques he has found to become focussed and productive during the working day. 

We have all been there, sitting at our desks wherever that may be, in the office or what’s more likely at home. You have a list of things to do and the day just fly’s by, and you can’t work out what you have accomplished. I have found myself in this situation before, and I was sure that there was a solution out there for me.

I did a lot of research and tested out some options. There are hundreds of theories out there, solutions that say this will change your life forever; the get rich quick schemes of the productivity world. I have put together the techniques that have made the most significant impact on my life, and I have seen some real change. Hopefully, you can make some changes into your life that will better your day.


The first thing I want to talk about is distractions.

Distraction with technology is ever-increasing. It’s slowly taking over our lives. As I sit in my home office, I have my phone to my right and an apple watch on my left wrist; if not programmed correctly, it will distract me from essential tasks I wish to complete.

For example; my phone will ping and vibrate all day long, with various app notifications. At 12.00 every day I would get a notification from “KFC” telling me about the latest bargain bucket. Now while I understand that we all love a piece of fried chicken, that crispy, greasy skin is my favourite! However, not when I’m trying to concentrate on a piece of work I need to complete, never mind the waistline.

One evening after being interrupted consistently throughout the day I looked at my phone – I have an iPhone. If you swipe down from the top left to the bottom you can open up the notification centre, it showed me all the notifications I received for that day, here are a few; Just Eat, Autotrader, YouTube, Nike and silly games I have downloaded once and never played since. I went on a culling, I either deleted the app altogether or went into the “notifications setting” and removed the notifications altogether. The next day I had an instantly more productive day, fewer alerts, fewer interruptions and fewer watch vibrations. – if you have an Android or other smart phone, I’m sure there is a way of doing the same thing!

Another critical factor is that when you need laser light concentration on a particular task or activity, to shut off all notifications, even calls and emails. Again, on most phones, you have the option for “Do not disturb”. This will allow you to have that laser light focus on that task for that necessary period of time. I use this regularly throughoutout my day to get my tasks complete when I do not want to speak to anyone else and wish for my brain to function at the highest level of productivity.

Another significant factor is the television or radio on in the background, listening to negative toxic news will stop your brain from concentrating, decreasing your productivity. Stop it all together. Turn them off right now… Yes, right now. Having a full 24 hours away from negative news and pointless talk radio stations will instantly make you feel more positive and increase your brains’ function to focus on your day to day activities.

I get it, people like music on in the background; I have recently got into chilled classical music – music with limited lyrics. Classical music is excellent as it gives you the background noise you need but not the songs where you end up singing and dancing the whole time (I’m often that guy in the office.) I know what you’re thinking “I hate classical music, that’s not me!”, It wasn’t me either, I was not too fond of it, but over time your brain ignores it, and it’s enough to block out the total silence, I would recommend you try this for seven days. You will find you are more focused and get more done.

In later articles, I will go into depth about more techniques that work alongside this one. I have tried so many methods, I’m sharing with you the best I have come across.

If you have any questions around this, please do not hesitate to ask! You can find me over on LinkedIn or here are my contact details to get in touch: Email: [email protected] Phone number: 01268 669 313

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