For The Multitasker to Increase Productivity…
Suppose you find yourself trying to work on multiple tasks simultaneously. As a result of tackling so many things at once, we tend to spread ourselves thin where nothing receives the attention it deserves. Many think that being busy is the same as being productive. But, the reality is that the more productive you are at starting and completing tasks, the more time you will actually have to get more done.
When we are multitasking, our brain is also multi-switching. The brain is quickly diverting its attention from one task to another. You may think you are productive, but you’re simply giving yourself extra work. In fact, science-backed research shows that for every distraction in your workday, you could lose as much as 20 minutes in recovery time to get back into the zone of what you were doing before the distraction.
At any given time, we may be working on a project, answering an employee question, glancing back and forth between monitors, the ding of a calendar invite, listening to music, and feeling the vibration of a smartphone in just a few seconds.
The result ends up the same… You are not multitasking; allowing distractions is a futile effort to check off items on an endless list.
Dividing your attention across multiple tasks is very taxing on your brain and often comes at the expense of your productivity. It is more likely that you will make mistakes if you multitask. So, let’s take a look at tips to help you overcome multitasking temptations.
Tips For The Multitasker
Monotask: Set up a productive work environment that encourages you to work on one task at a time. Set a timer and commit to working on that one task for 5 or 10 minutes.
Avoid Temptation: In this day in age, keeping up on social media has become a habit. Resist the urge to check and change the behavior constantly. There is some anti-distraction software that you can install on your computer that will block access to certain areas of the internet.
Keep It Simple: Try only working on one screen at a time and turn off your cell phone.
Be Sure to Move: If you are rereading the same thing over and over or losing your focus, take a quick, brief walk around the office to help you regain focus.
The more you work towards monotasking and ignoring distractions, the easier it will be to focus.
In our concluding part three of our series on maximizing your workday, we’ll review tips for those prone to procrastination. If that’s you or if you know of someone that is, keep reading for more insights.