If you are like me there is simply too much to do-and not enough time in the day. You can work for hours and feel frustrated, exhausted, that your to do list isn't getting any smaller. What's the solution?
You're not alone in wondering how to increase productivity. Researchers from Stanford University, Harvard University, and University of London have been studying the situation for years and agree on the ONE thing you can do to increase productivity:
Our brains were never meant to do more than one thing at a time. Scientists report that multitasking actually lowers our IQ and shrinks our brains. It also can decrease productivity by almost 40%, because our brains are incapable of handling simultaneous tasks. Dr. Earl Miller, professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, states that multitasking is a myth. All we're doing is slowing ourselves down by "task-switching," because the brain has to shut down one area to attend to another.
It may seem counter-intuitive to just do one thing at a time. Singletasking sounds too "Zen" to make sense. But consider recent legislation to prevent people from driving and texting, as well as mandating hands-free phones. We simply are most alert when we can pay sole attention to the road. That's an example of singletasking that can actually save lives.
Devora Zack, author of Singletasking: Get More Done--One Thing at a Time, describes how to increase your productivity:
- Choose one task at a time. Dive in and focus on just one thing for a dedicated amount of time. You'll be able to work more clearly and efficiently. You don't have to finish the project before moving to the next-just give it all your attention during the allotted time.
- Develop your concentration. When we multitask, we become distracted because we're thinking of other things. Zack calls this the "Scattered Brain Syndrome." It prevents the ability to focus and retain information. Singletasking keeps us in the present moment-important for all areas of our life.
- Group similar tasks. Instead of answering every email or text as it arrives, establish certain times to devote to communication. This form of singletasking is called "clustertasking" and will actually give you more time for other projects...or relaxation.
Why not try singletasking for a month? You may find that your workflow is smoother and your anxiety level is lower. Share your secret with others-soon your business will be an even better place to be!
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