I call myself a recovering rushaholic! I used to run around every day trying to out run the clock.
I thought speed was my super power.
I talked quickly and moved even faster.
Sounds like a plan?!? It wasn’t!
I was always having accidents. Several times, I tried to walk through a door before I opened it. UGH!
My business suffered as well.
My only plan for increasing productivity was to go faster and work later.
I was always skimming over things. I never really got any traction because I was moving so fast.
Everything was an important task that needed my attention. I wasting time as I ran around in constant reaction mode.
I had no idea that productivity increases when you slow down!
Productivity Increases When You Stop Doing This!!
As I ran around reacting to the day. I always had my to-do list in my hand!
I thought I was prepared but what I was doing was adding fuel to an already dangerous fire!
Yes, running your business off a to-do list is a horrible strategy!
Here’s where things really got messy for me. . .
I would jump all over my to-do list. Checking off anything I could. Bouncing from task to task, constantly reacting.
My to-do list only grew. It never got smaller. It was overwhelming and I felt defeated.
Worse than that. . .I thought I wasn’t working hard enough.
So I would try to grind out more work and stay even later.
I relied on foolish productivity hacks. I thought working smarter meant go faster and faster. I was never able to manage my time because the to-do doesn’t have increments of time.
This means that you can’t plan the next stage of any project. It also means that you don’t have any real stats on how long a particular task takes you to complete.
As well, it leads to another killer of productivity, multi tasking.
Increase Productivity: Don’t use a To-Do List
You’re sitting at your desk and with your todo list but you can’t seem to stay focus on any one thing. You’re overwhelmed by the magnitude of everything that needs to be done.
To-do lists are actually lists of percolating emergencies. Things rise to the top as they become more pressing.
One of the biggest changes you can make in your productivity is to stop using a To-do list instead start time blocking your work. This will instantly change your level of output!
Time Blocking Increases Productivity
Most business owners use their calendar to keep track of outside influences. When they’ve scheduled time with anyone outside their business it’s on their calendar. Yet they fail repeatedly to put their own work on their own calendar.
Your projects, work commitments and daily tasks should absolutely be on your calendar!
Small-business owners often say, “I do that everyday so I don’t need to remember it.”
It’s not about “remembering,” it’s about planning your time.
This means is your heading into your day thinking you may have 8 hours available but you only have six. You’re not counting your projects or where you spend your time with daily chores.
Email definitely takes up time and very few people small business owners account for this activity.
Important Work First Is The Easiest Daily Productivity Tip
Studies show that we are freshest in the morning. This is the best time for us to take on something that requires a lot of focus or attention. Start your day with your big ambitions for your company. Anything that requires the most focus or attention should be done the first hour of the morning.
Often business owners try to tag new projects or training at the that on to the end of a long day. This is when you are your least effective and destroys workplace productivity. It will take you 3x the amount of time to get something done.
For optimum success you want to attack anything that requires the most attention or focus first thing in the morning. This allows for a continuous flow of the project every morning. Other tasks like emails should be dealt with later in the day.
If you’re coming from the mindset emails come first to monitor any issues that signifies a larger problem.
Don’t Multi Task If You Want To Increase Your Productivity!
Multitasking is a myth.
It’s been proven time and again that multitasking actually decreases your productivity by 40%. It does however increase mistakes. It makes you dumb. It also distorts your sense of time and how long things take you to complete.
So how do we fix this? Let’s start by redefining what it means to “multi-task.” Multi-tasking means doing two things at once, poorly. Science and endless studies show us that humans aren’t capable of true multi-tasking; instead, what we’re really doing is context switching—jumping from one thing to another.
When you do this there are severe consequences: the biggest being attention residue.
Attention residue happens when you return to your original tasks (think of it like sticky tentacles that are left behind). This is why you feel so drained and disoriented as you try to juggle your way through the day.
Take Breaks And Increase Productivity
As a rookie in business, I thought breaks were for the weak. To even stop to eat seems wildly foolish to me. You could often see me shoving food down my throat with my left hand, while I answering emails with my right hand.
I thought my superpower was speed. I was in a constant race against time and every second counted. So to me breaks were a complete waste.
I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Studies continuously prove do that breaks throughout the day improve your concentration and boost your mood. For best results you should never go any longer than 90 minutes without a break.
Brakes are actually a great way to transition to a new task and clear your palate. Without breaks you wear your energy down quicker as well as your mental fatigue.
In fact, a study had a bunch of participants learning a new task like playing the piano or learning a new mathematical concept. Randomly, the participants were asked to stop and do nothing for a few minutes.
Simply to rest and take a break. It was proven that these micro breaks improve the learning process by 20 times. It was complete acceleration in learning!
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