Lots of people still seem to think that multi-tasking is a good idea in order to be a productive person. However, it has been shown in recent scientific studies that the reverse is true. Multi-tasking actually makes you less productive.
Your brain can’t actually do lots of conscious tasks at the same time. What most people think of as multi-tasking is actually “task-switching”. It is this constant switching between different things that causes extra work for your brain.
Do yourself a favour, and block out time to focus on one thing at a time, and you will create a huge leap in productivity. I still struggle with this, having a mild form of ADD, but when I do settle on one job for a while, I find the time goes more easily somehow. The task seems to get done more smoothly.
Here are some things that I use to help me get things done more effectively…
1 – Deciding what to do in the first place – I use Evernote and Wunderlist. They work on most mobile and desktop devices, and give you a way to both store ideas quickly, and then prioritise them.
2 – Keep distractions to a minimum. I don’t tend to switch my phone off, but I will put it into silent mode, and face down on the desk.
3 – Set a timer. This is a good discipline – just try with 15 or 20 minute blocks of time to start with. You don’t want to do more than about 50 minutes at a time anyway. Always have a break to get away from the screen for about 10 minutes every hour. Have a stretch, go for a short walk, make a coffee…
4 – Deal with small tasks first, to create a habit. Also, if you have a big project looming, it puts you in a good frame of mind if you can finish a couple of smaller items before that.
5 – Relax the mind and body. Stress is counterproductive to productivity, so aim to create time for improving your mind and body. Exercise is good for your brain as well as the rest of your body. Meditation is a classic way to improve mental focus.
Lots more ideas like this are contained in this ebook.
I also recommend Simpleology.com – a great system to train you into the habit of focus and productivity.
And finally, if you would like to create a blog like mine, then do what I did, and get John Thornhill’s excellent training!