This is part of my Tech Workers' Guide To Distraction Free Work

Do you have things on your To Do list that will take less than 2 minutes to complete? If yes, do them now.

Here’s why: Even the smallest of tasks takes up room in your mind1. In some cases, a 1-minute task will occupy the same space as a 1-hour task. When you remove tiny tasks, you’re free to focus on bigger things.

In addition, you feel good whenever you cross off items on your To Do list. And crossing off small things first thing in the morning generates a feeling of positive momentum.

Take action: Tackle items on your To Do list that will take less than 2 minutes.


  1. “Getting Things Done” by David Allen 

Tech Workers' Guide To Distraction Free Work

Common Problems

  1. How Do I Stop Endlessly Researching Topics And Get Stuff Done?


  1. We Want To Be Distracted
  2. Proximity Matters

Practices: Just Say No

  1. Just say No
  2. Stop Looking For Drama
  3. Beware Of Taking On Extra Responsibility
  4. Make an “I won’t do” list

Practices: Say Yes

  1. Track your distractions
  2. Stay focused with a To Do list
  3. Make a “Big Rock” list
  4. Follow the 2-minute rule
  5. Try the Pomodoro Technique
  6. Make a list of questions

Practices: Control Your Physical Environment

  1. Find your Den of Productivity
  2. Eliminate distracting belongings
  3. Limit disruptive noise
  4. Listen to music
  5. Silence your phone

Practices: Control Your Digital Environment

  1. Close your email
  2. Leave social media
  3. Close your browser tabs
  4. Limit distractions from Slack
  5. Try an app blocker

Practices: Get Organized

  1. Make project documents

What do books say about distraction free work?

“You could try to pound your head against the wall and think of original ideas — or you can cheat by reading them in books.”
Patrick Collison

  1. “The Obstacle Is the Way” on handling distractions
  2. “The 4-Hour Workweek” on eliminating distractions