There are many things, at different times that help me focus and be productive. Some things work all the time and some are context dependant. I thought I’d share some of my productivity hacks as of today. Share your hacks or tips with me.


Every app notification is a doorway to rabbit-trailing and distraction. In my typical work day I only have Calendar, Slack, Teams and Zoom enabled for notifications. I don’t have my emails pushed to me, I pull. Simply: I manually send/receive.

And when I’m in meetings I disable all notifications. I don’t like being that guy who distracts others with his email, text and other notifications. Don’t be that annoying person.

Not every app deserves my attention or brain processing. When working I want to focus on my work and not waste critical mental energy of every app that can ping me.


When focusing on something new. Sometimes I need silence. I work in quiet spaces and or use noise cancelling headphones. Noise cancelling headphones can be a great investment if you need silence but can’t easily find quiet spaces.

Music Or Noise

I sometimes feel like some background music or noise. I can’t tell you specifics on why. I have moments I just feel like it. The kind of music or noise also depends on how I feel and what I’m working on.

I switch between Spotify and Apple Music.

Physical Exercise

I suspect there’s a scientific explanation. I focus better and I’m more productive when I exercise. Somehow my physical fitness impacts my ability to focus and get things done.

This is not one of my favourite productivity hacks but it is necessary. I hate the way I feel while doing it, but love the result.


This is something I generally don’t do well so it takes effort to get right. When I’m getting good-quality-right-amount of sleep I’m unstoppable. I’ve seen different people encourage napping during the day––this hasn’t worked for me.

Prayer, Meditation and Mindfulness

As a person of faith, I find that prayer helps, a lot. Besides that I believe God is and helps when I ask for his help, it helps inspire gratitude from me. Somehow being thankful and appreciative of things in life, helps my outlook and the way I also engage my work. Praying as I walk in nature also seems to do wonders for me. Ha.

I’ve tried a guided meditation apps before and this time Balance seems to be doing it for me. I’ll think about doing a separate post on this one later. Anyways,

I would recommend both.

Apple’s Focus Feature

I’ve been tinkering with Apple’s Focus feature. Depending on where I am and what I’m doing, it has helped reduce distraction from apps and people. I’m still fine tuning a few customisations but this is worth doing too.

The To-Do

This never gets old. Creating and following a to-do list is a critical one. I use a combo of Notes app, Notion and the good ol’ hard copy notebook and pen.

What About You?

These are some of my productivity hacks. I don’t always do well at all the same time. But doing enough of a few of them at a time helps a lot.
What have you proven that you’d recommend I add to my list?

Published by Blessing Mpofu

just a guy changing the world

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