Do you find yourself hopelessly distracted at work? Between the emails, phone calls, and projects competing for your attention, you may feel like you never get anything done. Multitasking is a time honored skill in the workplace, but it can slow your productivity to a crawl. Fortunately, there are ways to increase your focus and double your productivity by removing distractions and adopting a conscious mindset.
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, multitasking ” makes us more prone to making mistakes, more likely to miss important information and cues, and less likely to retain information in working memory, which impairs problem-solving and creativity.”They suggest you try the “ABC” method to help you focus:
- Awareness: Recognize your options. What’s most important and what’s background noise?
- Breathe: Take a moment to consider the options you have. What can you rearrange in order to make the most urgent tasks a priority?
- Choose: Proactively make a decision about what task to complete next and stick to it.
These three steps don’t take much time, but require you to be aware of your situation and make conscious decisions instead of reacting to every distraction.
Other suggestions to improve focus and productivity include getting up and taking a walk before you start a new task, taking regular breaks to give your mind a rest, and make yourself turn off all distractions for a specific amount of time. Close your email and turn off your phone for an hour to really focus on the task at hand.
While you may be proud of your ability to multitask, it can hamper your productivity. By taking steps to shift your mindset and eliminate distractions, you’ll do better quality work in a shorter amount of time.
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