We live in a society of multitaskers. For decades, we believed multitasking was the way to achieving productivity. However, recent studies are beginning to suggest that multitasking actually makes you less productive.
It makes sense if you really think about it. We are bombarded every hour of every day with a hundred different things, between emails, social media account notifications, phone calls, etc. Not to mention, all of the new information that’s thrown into our faces as we respond to each of these different stimuli. Staying focused is next to impossible.
Monotasking. It’s the new multitasking, and it’s the answer to the problem of low productivity. Doing one thing at a time actually helps you stay focused on that one thing. By minimizing the number of potential distractions you may encounter throughout a single period, you’ll accomplish more. With that in mind, here are 3 ways to increase your personal productivity:
Batch Your Work
One technique, called batching, is what a lot of writers use to get a lot done in a short time. Batching is defined as completing multiple related tasks in a single work period – whether it’s a day or a few hours. Sitting down to write 10 blogs that will be scheduled out for the next month is one example of batching. Another example is writing multiple chapters of an ebook. You basically commit to doing one task (or a series of related tasks that may be classified as a single task) until it’s finished, without switching activities. And that means no checking email, no checking Facebook, and no answering phone calls until that task is finished.
This is especially hard for workaholics, and if you work at a corporate office, you don’t want to take too many breaks or make them too long, since the boss is likely watching. But try taking shorter, more frequent breaks for one week. If your boss says anything to you about it, let them know you’re trying a new experiment that you believe will increase your productivity, and that you’ll stop if it doesn’t make a difference within two weeks. Once they see how much more you accomplish in that time, they won’t care how many breaks you’re taking. Taking breaks gives your mind and body time to rest and recoup, so that when you get back to work, you actually get more done.
A to-do list or calendar will help you prioritize your work and stay on task. With your work planned out ahead of time, you’ll simply be able to press go and move forward, rather than wasting valuable minutes thinking about or trying to remember what you need to accomplish. Long-term, this will result in much more work getting done.