That’s where I was a couple years ago. I used to pull all-nighters, and was working 7 days a week to finish all my tasks. I simply had no time to spare.
That’s when I came across David Allen’s book “Making It All Work”. It totally opened my eyes. It helped me understand that life was not about working more but about working productively. From that point onward, I started fixing my habits and developing certain skills that would make me as productive as possible.
The strategies which I learned along the way are what I hope to share with you today.
Here are the 4 main things I do consistently to be more productive.:
1. I Don’t Multitask
The greatest “executioner of my productivity” was that I had convinced myself that I was multitasking — and therefore was doing work faster.
Was I ever wrong.
Multitasking is not a real thing. What you are really doing when you are (apparently) multitasking is going back and forth between two separate tasks. So rather than giving 100% to one task at a time you are going back and forth between tasks, giving each task a monumentally less amount of focus. This simply means that you end up doing both tasks at less than 100% — and you gain a whole lot of stress and tension.
Multitasking: A nice way to say that you’re doing many different things at the same time. And since no one can divide by zero, that means you’re doing many different things half-assed. — UrbanDictionary.com
2. Break Things Down
Okay…so imagine a really large meatball. Got it? Good.
According to animal instincts, the best way to eat it is to put the entire thing in your mouth and chew. Do that and you will be chewing and swallowing for the next 10 minutes.
Sensibly and productively speaking, the best and fastest way to eat the meatball is to cut it into smaller pieces so that you can take in as much as your mouth can handle, and swallow it in less than no time.
This same rule applies to life.
You are only able to handle so much at one time. If you try to take on a task too big all at once, you will only get clogged up and slowed down. But if you break it down into more manageable pieces, you’ll find that you will be able to finish the task a lot faster.
“Break things down into little steps and they become possible. Repeat them, and they become learned.” – David Landowne
3. Prioritize Your Tasks
You are craving a chocolate bar…or a client is waiting for your proposal.
Which one is more important?
Unfortunately, thousands of people find themselves in similar situations every day. You have to learn to automatically prioritize things that are more important. This way rather than wasting energy and time, you will focus on these particular things and get them done faster. This will make you more stress-free and will greatly boost your productivity.
4. No Distractions
Sometimes I wonder how much time people end up wasting by:
- Checking email
- Checking their cellphones
- Idly chatting with their colleagues
- Surfing the web
All of these things (among others) will make you very unproductive. So when it gets down to finally getting work done, turn off or remove all distractions. Just get rid of them.
“Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short.” – Adam Hochschild
(Photo credit: The Word Productivity via Shutterstock)