5 min reading
Opinions of Entrepreneur contributions his own.
There is a misconception that working in an office means searching through endless emails while holding the phone in one hand and scribbling notes in the other. There are better, more productive ways for people to spend their working day. It took me several degrees and different careers to realize that I had to optimize my process by working smarter, not harder.
When I joined ShopKeep, I noticed that I had booked back-to-back meetings from morning to night. That left little time to concentrate on completing tasks. My previous experiences had made me believe that I was a strong multi-tasker, but this new venture taught me that there really is no such thing. According to psychologist and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman: "It is the characteristic of strenuous activities that they influence each other, therefore it is difficult or impossible to carry several at the same time. you certainly should not try it. "
To increase daily productivity, you must learn how to concentrate on one task at a time. It makes no sense to try everything at once. Fortunately, a few key tactics can increase productivity and sharpen your overall ethics.
Create a task list.
If you have a full-time job, mornings and evenings may be the only parts of the day for you. Take advantage of this time by staying organized and setting daily priorities. Clear and Evernote are two apps that allow users to create a checklist of tasks. By creating an in-app list before going to sleep, you can clear your head while planning ahead. During sleep, your brain processes and prioritizes some of these tasks, even if you don't realize you're thinking about it.
Every morning I view and edit my list before performing one of the tasks. This prevents me from prioritizing someone else's to-do list ̵
Related: 7 secrets to daily tackling your task list
Multitasking divides your attention. If you make yourself too thin, you will feel ineffective and frustrated because you focused on the product during the process. The anxiety you feel when you delay is caused by pain in the insular cortex part of the brain. It sends out warning signals that cause stress if you are concerned about the end product. Instead of a single task and the process you need to achieve that goal, think, and you will experience that anxious feeling less often. It is not surprising that less mental energy leading to stressors ultimately helps to increase overall efficiency and achieve more.
Related: Forget about multitasking. Real productivity comes from Singletasking
You can start reforming your work habits using a conditioning method known as the Pomodoro technique, developed by entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo. The technique teaches practitioners to concentrate in short intervals and to work with time, not against it. It's fairly simple: spend your thoughts on one activity for an interval of 25 minutes. Set a timer so that you can watch it periodically for motivation. Then take a five-minute break before starting a new 25-minute cycle. These short, simple sessions provide the optimum time frame to focus on individual tasks and enforce a process-oriented approach.
Focus, focus, focus. …
Tools such as the Pomodoro technique become invalid if you do not block internal and external leads. Your perpetrators can be talkative colleagues, social media, emails, a quick check of the game score – the list goes on. Don't be reactive. To completely avoid temptation, stop your phone, turn off notifications, and download applications that help you manage your incoming messages. With Inbox Pause you can put e-mails on hold temporarily. If you would like to read an interesting article, put it in the Pocket app, which saves content for later viewing.
It is crucial to keep some time free to concentrate without interruption. Whether you & # 39; early in the morning or & # 39; prefer late at night, find time and make an effort. Immersing yourself in your own goals allows you to start the day with a more positive state of mind and end it with a sense of satisfaction, regardless of how events unfold in between.
Related: How to stay focused: train your brain
… and then break it!
It is unrealistic to demand a day-long, dedicated focus. That is why the Pomodoro technique and other time management systems contain frequent breaks. This delay lets your mind rest and switch to a diffuse mode. They reward you for your concentration. When it's time to break the focus, do all the things that would otherwise have worked as a distraction. Take a walk, meditate, meet with colleagues, check your e-mail or read articles stored in the Pocket app. Such breaks are essential for building willpower and recovery.
Recognize that you don't have to do everything at once to get the best out of your day. You can't actually do that. Create a clear task list, embrace productivity tools and think of ways to focus on individual tasks more efficiently. With a little practice you will be surprised how much you can achieve.