Stop Multitasking and Get More Done
We all fancy ourselves master multitaskers, but the truth is we're not and it hurts productivity and wastes time. Ready to reclaim all that lost time? Here are just 5 tips to get you moving in the right direction:
1. Use a timer and take breaks.
I started using the Pomodoro method for work. It requires me to work in sprints where I focus on a singular task. Between sprints, I'm forced to get up from my desk, stretch, and take a break. During the sprints, I am more focused and able to get more done.
2. Shut off technology.
All technology. Silence your phone and turn off your email. Technology is a tool for you to use, not a master to become a slave to. My phone is set to silent mode when I work. If somebody calls, they leave a message. Calls are returned at planned intervals. The same is true for email.
3. Block calendar time.
This works especially well if you have a big project due, but applies to all tasks. (I use a paper mouse pad for my weekly blocking. It works for me.) If you have appointments for the week, block those first. Then block in the rest of the tasks you need to do: check email, return calls, pay bills, finish that proposal, networking lunch. Now act as if you're your most important client because, in fact, you are, and keep your appointments with yourself.
4. Clear clutter from your desktop.
Clutter is a great distractor. Remove whatever papers you're not working with from your desk. A desk piled high with files is not a badge of honor. When you want to be focused on a project, every pile, every piece of paper within eyesight has the potential to occupy mental space, demanding your attention. Remove the temptation and keep your focus.
5. Close your door.
Sometimes what pulls your attention is other people. If asking for privacy isn't enough, close your door. You can let people know how long you'll be unavailable, but if that's what it takes for you to get uninterrupted time, do it.
Be creative. You know yourself and how you best work. Use these 5 tips as a springboard for keeping yourself focused on what's important to you and your business.