By Megan Cole-Jones, MA

With today’s rapidly advancing business technology, professionals are more productive than ever — on the surface. But in reality – we are checking our iPhones while answering 15 emails on our laptops, to only have 10 more come in, while a Google Voice call comes through and a client is texting. You’re constantly checking Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in between scheduling conference calls with someone across the world. Take a breath… and follow these 3 steps to create more productivity and perform better.

1) Write it down: Anytime something pops into your head, jot it down – either on your iPad or a seemingly archaic piece of paper. This gets the thought out of your head and onto paper. At the end of the day, you can review and delegate all of the critical pieces of information that crossed your mind during the day.

2) Set appointments with yourself: In today’s business climate, responsiveness is a critical element of customer service, team management and operations. That said, you should be dedicating blocks of time, communication-free, to your work. That means no checking emails or voicemails in that time frame. Most experts recommend 90 minutes… we think you can even cut that down to 45-60. Set the expectation with your team, vendors and clients that while their e-mail communication is important to you, you will only be checking/responding each hour.

3) Delegate: By hiring a Virtual Assistant team, you delegate tasks that take you too much time or aren’t the best use of your time. For procrastinators, it is especially helpful to have someone else doing the work and keeping them on track. By having someone else who is trusted, professional and skilled to attack your To-Do list, you instantly double your productivity.

Remember: always fully engage in whatever it is you’re doing. Give it 100% focus – that means no other browser windows are open, your phone isn’t visible and your e-mail pops up are off. Trust us, you will be amazed at how much more productive you are when you give something your full attention. (And you may even save enough time in your day to take a weekend off with no e-mail…)