WOOHOO! I really do like Mondays… Yes, I am one of those crazy people BUT it is because I love my business. So, let’s talk about multi-tasking and productivity.
I always said “I am great at multi-tasking” but I always felt like I was falling short on productivity. Despite my best efforts to lay out a plan and a timeline, I was always crunching things at the end. So then my tag line was “I work better under pressure”. Really, who wants to work under pressure?
Now as CEO of my own business, I occasionally find myself on this same hamster wheel. I find that I spread myself too thin, getting small amounts of many tasks done, but never quite finishing any of them. In the end, I feel over-worked and under-productive, basically burnt out.
So my mission is to change the hamster wheel mindset. Did you know that you can increase your productivity by 40% when you give yourself time to focus on one task? You know what I mean, those squirrel moments. We all have them, right?
So how do we get off the hamster wheel and increase our productivity?
1. Put your phone far, far away.
When I am in my office, I very seldom have my cell phone. I have spotty reception in my office so why be frustrated or frustrate others with dropped calls.
If you are one of those who have notifications for every app (Facebook, etc) alerting you – STOP! That simple notification in the middle of working on a project can leave you distracted and considerably less productive. Put your phone across the room or even *gasp* turn it off which will reduce the risk of distraction. Why not let people leave a message and return their calls later after you finish the project?
2. Notice patterns and set specific times
Think about your patterns. What’s your go-to distracter? Email? Updating your calendar? “Work”-related social media? Whatever it is, avoid the distraction by setting specific times during the day that you can check it. Tim Ferriss of The 4-Hour Workweek suggests checking your email 2-3 times a day, max. Give yourself specific times when you’re not working on other tasks. This way you are present when talking to customers and team members without being distracted.
I close all “tabs” on internet when I am working on something. Better yet, if I am working on a project, I close the internet if I don’t need it. When I consistently do this, it takes less time to get a simple project done because I am not distracted.
3. Take a productive break
If you feel the urge to switch tasks, take a a little break – this will increase your productivity. Now, that doesn’t mean make a call or run a quick errand. Instead, take a walk or meditate for 10 minutes. A real, mental break will give you the relaxation you need and leave you with a more productive mindset.
4. Set a timer
I only use this one when I am pushing to pick up the dreaded 500-pound phone but I may need to try it for some other projects. Set a timer for your task. While the timer is running, ONLY work on one thing. When you’re finished, take a quick break to check social media, or whatever it is that normally distracts you
Set your timer based on your daily to-do list of the top 3 things you want to complete then set a time limit for each task. This way you can properly plan out your day.
Who is ready to conquer Monday and spend the rest of the week being productive? What is your best tip to increase productivity?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!