Forget Multitasking. Productivity Requires A Method To Your Crazy Day

When was the last time you took a break and did absolutely nothing? We’re still practically at the start of the New Year and most of you (me included) are thinking about ways you can be more productive without sacrificing all of your personal life. When I look at really productive people, they aren’t consumed with working 18 hours a day, downloading the latest productivity apps and they’re certainly not consumed with giving up a fun weekend to just work. Instead, they make the hours they work count, and by doing so they enjoy life more.
So what can I tell you about being productive?
Some of these tips are about doing less and achieving more.
Let’s say you have a report due. You have to sit at the computer and tackle the task at hand but instead, you start cleaning your desktop and organizing your files. This does not get you any closer to completing your report. You’re just keeping active for active sake. The real purpose and end goal of why you sat at your desk in the first place, become blurred. The most productive people are organized. They understand what they need to accomplish and set timeframes to get things done and they’re not distracted. Not by emails. Not by notifications. Not by telephone calls. I know this may sound too perfect to be true because who works in isolation? Still, there is a distinction between real work and busy work. One allows you to focus on the end game and the other places attention on the things that don’t matter.
Another barrier to productivity is time management. When we look at the habits of productive people, they engage in what is known as deliberate practice. They focus on the hardest tasks at the start of the day. When you begin your day at your desk typically that’s the time when you have the most clarity. By tackling the hardest task first, productive people give their most disciplined attention to their toughest duties freeing up the rest of the day for doing easier work or projects that are less intense. The mental strain disappears.
Productive people take breaks, multiple times during the day. Here’s something you can try; work for 90 minutes straight and follow that up with a 10-minute break. It helps to break the monotony and allows you to connect with other people whether it’s your colleagues, or someone on Facebook, or even your pet if you work from home.
My last tip for increasing productivity is about the dreaded M word. You know it. Multitasking. With multitasking, you may feel that doing more things at the same time makes you more efficient but research shows that it actually lowers your quality of work. So productive people prepare from the night before. So make a list of all the things you have to do and break up the big tasks into smaller manageable ones. This will guide your activities into the following day and will allow you to be more accountable at the end of your workday.
Do you have any tips that boost your productivity? We’d love to hear them, share them below.

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