“Going Off Grid (GOG)”  – “Going off grid” means creating your own sustainable energy and unplugging from the public power source.  I’m going to use it a bit differently for GTD – When I speak of GOGing I’m talking about creating an “uninterrupted, sustainable work environment.”

Tell me if this scene isn’t familiar – You are working on the status report for your big project.  You see a “new email” alert popup and you go and check it out.  In the email is a link to an article your friend thought was interesting – so you click it. Once you get to the article you see an ad for the new movie you heard about and off you go.  30 minutes later you remember the status report and start back on it.   This cycle repeats itself 3-4 times a day.

Many times when I speak to associates about productivity they tell me how they have great plans to accomplish their work, but they are constantly being interupted – email alerts, IM messages, people dropping by your desk, reminders, shiny objects in the distance.

My suggestion – GOG. Go off the grid. For whatever period of time you need  – close email, set IM to “do not disturb”, kill RSS alerts, exit webmail, close all unnecessary applications. Find a quiet space and WORK.  Depending on your role, this could be for 15m, 30m, 2h or the whole day.  15m of uninterrupted, focused work is equivalent to 30m of work with 2-3 small interruptions.

Why? Because everytime you are interrupted you need to take valuable minutes  to find your place on the work you were originally doing.  If this proves difficult for you to do (and it will for some) I suggest you get a timer and set it for 15m. Start the timer when you are GOGing and stay off the grid for the whole time.  It might be tough, but it will feel so good!

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