Being productive also means doing less!
When you feel stressed and overwhelmed by the endless oppression of tasks and responsibilities that life throws at you, the last thing you would think of isdoing less. Especially in a society that advocates ++++ and Go Go Go!
However, that's exactly what should happen. If you can't get through your days without feeling horribly overwhelmed, it means you're doing too much at once. Overloading your schedule does not make you more productive. On the contrary, it makes you less efficient.
The truth is that it's not just your time that is limited each day, it's your energy.
Here are some secrets to adjusting your productivity.
- Do no more than 5 tasks per day
When your to-do lists are long, it's pretty much guaranteed that you won't get to the end. You end the day feeling unsatisfied, anxious, distracted and no more accomplished than when you started.
You should focus on 5 tasks per day. If you have 20 things on a to-do list, first of all you won't do them all, and secondly are you sure that the five you did were the most important?
If you do and complete only 5 tasks per day, you are doing 25 per week and 1,250 per year, which is significant. Make a chart where you specifically write down your tasks for the day, to stay focused and concentrated. Make sure that the first task is the most important and that you devote all your time and energy to completing that first task before moving on to the second. If you can't get to the fifth? Well, put it at the top of the list for the next day.
- Switching from one task to another makes you less likely to complete one.
Many people think the key to getting more done is to do more at the same time. But if you're the kind of person who checks email while taking a client call and scrolling through social media, we've got bad news for you. Trying to do too many things at once, also known as multitasking, takes a huge toll on productivity.
While multitasking was once considered the gospel of productivity, advances in neuropsychology have helped us understand that it is not the most effective way to manage your time and focus.
Multitasking can drop productivity by as much as 40%. And the more you try to do at once, the more likely you are to make mistakes. That error rate can increase threefold.
You can't be fully focused and diligent on two things at once. Make sure you focus on one task at a time until it is fully completed (or stage of completion), rather than constantly switching between many different tasks.
- It's not about doing less, it's about focusing more.
For those who are still not convinced that doing less will translate into doing more, consider this: it's not about having less to do, it's about allowing your mind to focus on one task at a time, so you can actually complete things fully. From there, you can build momentum to move on to the next task. Overloading your to-do list and overwhelming your brain does not make you faster and more efficient, on the contrary, it will slow down your results, satisfaction and motivation. It will also affect your confidence, your potential and your ability to achieve certain things.
Your mind needs regular rest and freedom to function at its best. If it is overloaded with inappropriately managed commitments, its capacity for creative thinking and decision making is seriously sub-optimized. Regular breaks, rest and activities that take you away from work are essential (walking, meditation, listening to music...)
Trying to get more tasks done throughout the day without a strategy for getting them done does not make you more efficient, more effective, or more productive. If you write down 30 things you need to do, you'll probably only get to the first third, and because you're overwhelmed, you won't do them well. If you cut it down to five things, you'll prioritize the most crucial tasks of the day and give them your full attention.
- Disconnect from work
Another misconception about productivity. The more time you spend working, the more you will get done. But the truth is that working around the clock is not doing your productivity any favors.
Your productivity drops dramatically once you hit 50 hours a week, and once you hit 55 hours a week, your productivity is close to zero. So if you're putting in an insane number of hours each week, the key to getting more done is pretty simple, you need to work less.
Choose a time to stop working every day and stick to it, even if you feel like you can and want to do more. Creating a better work/life balance will give you the time you need to recharge outside of work hours and allow you to show up each day rested and ready to get things done.
- Put your phone away
As mentioned before, focusing on one task at a time is essential to getting more done. But if your attention is constantly diverted from the task at hand, your productivity will drop.
And what's the one thing most likely to distract you from what you're trying to do? Your smartphone.
The average person checks their phone 96 times a day. So if you sleep eight hours a night, you check your phone six times an hour, or once every 10 minutes. That means that when you are trying to get things done, you are interrupted every 10 minutes.
Do you have your phone on your desk? Then you decrease your productivity and concentration by 35%. Just by having your device in front of you... without touching it. Unconsciously you will be distracted by the screen turning on or a notification coming in.
Let's go a little further to finish...
When you are focused on a task and are interrupted or distracted, it will take your brain nearly 25 minutes to get back into the action and at the same level of concentration.
So in conclusion, if you check your phone every 10 minutes and make it a source of distraction, you will never achieve the level of concentration required to fully accomplish your tasks.
What a loss of productivity for you and your company, right?
If this subject has spoken to you and concerns you, contact us so that together we can quickly optimize your real productivity.
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