One Habit That Kills Productivity – And How to Stop It
We are a nation of multi-taskers. Every day we are bombarded with so many things to do, sometimes we don’t know where to begin. Studies have been proven to show that lack of focus can actually affect your brain to the point of lowering your IQ points. For the longest time, we have thought that multitasking is good for managing time. We were sadly mistaken here. The saving grace is that you can turn this around. Here we’ll go over some easy ways to regain focus and productivity by up to 40%. So let’s get to it.
One Thing at a Time
You’re really going for it on this new promotion you’ve been working on and it happens. You have a brilliant idea that comes into your mind and you act on it immediately so you don’t forget. This is the critical error that keeps us bound to the multitasking habits we are breaking here. If you have something that is really a great idea or notion, write it down and return to your task. This way you’ll stay focused on the task at hand while retaining your genius. Use what note system works best for you.
Stay committed to the task
This goes hand in hand with doing one thing at a time. We all know that we can be too busy for just one task sometimes. But, you can commit by designating a specific amount of time to the project. Break up your workload into 30 minute shifts with small 5-10 minute breaks. Doing this will give you time to be creative and double check anything that may be missed otherwise. Just dedicate your allotted time to one thing before committing to the next task. This is an effective way to stay on task, while having time for others.
Create a controlled workspace
We can all become easily distracted by many things in a day. With all of the technology around us daily, co-workers, friends and family, it can be easy to blame it on these things. If you work from an office try turning off your notifications for social media. If you can, do this with your email notifications. Leave a note on your door or cubicle to signify (do not disturb.) If you work from home, make sure that you have clear work hours specified for family. Keep the door closed to keep noise to a minimum and turn your phone to silent. You are in control.
Take some ‘me’ time
With all of the many distractions at our reach, we often forget to just be. Take the time to shut out all distractions and listen to your thoughts. This is probably the most powerful thing in this list, since it helps immensely for relaxation. Studies have shown that the average human has a shorter attention span than a common goldfish. Quiet reflection is the only way to go deeper. Meditation is simply being aware of the present and focusing, here and now. You’ll thank yourself.
Group similar tasks together
If you have many things to do that are similar, like returning messages or emails, do them in groups. If you have numerous emails, prioritize your list so you are focused on only work related ones. Keep you allotted time focused on one group, then move to the next. Do your many tasks in a project-based context, instead of as they arrive in your inbox. This will save a lot of time sorting through time-killing emails. Think of it as a pie and each group is a slice.
If you have help, use it
We all go back and forth with the same old habits that we know we shouldn’t. If you find yourself unable to get to that place of focus yourself, have co-workers, friends or family hold you to your goals. The constructive criticism of close people in your daily life will help you maintain your edge. The great thing about this approach is that the people close to you will hold you up to it. They will typically be more helpful in creating needed space as well. They will become your support system until you don’t need it as much.
Don’t accept every task
If you have ambition, don’t confuse it with over shooting your aim. If you have multiple projects to handle, (and who doesn’t?) finish them completely before moving on to the next thing. You can easily become bogged down with stress and work if you do not pace you assignments. A firm but fair ‘no’ to yourself here will go a long way to helping your productivity. You’d be amazed at the results of a good positive “no way.”
Let’s get the job done!
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