People have a ton of advice to avoid mental sludge tasks, such as doing routine activities or just answering emails. Instead, it is recommended to begin by doing creative tasks. This is great if you’re a morning person. This will not work well if you are an evening person, like me.
Tony Wong is a productivity expert. He advises: “Use the morning to concentrate on yourself. Get up early and do not check your emails. This will help you get the energy and fuel to succeed in your day. This should include working out, meditating, reading the local paper, and also getting a good and healthy breakfast.” The key to your success is to use this time of peak productivity to get everything done that you need to.
Stop Multitasking Everything
If you try to do too many things at once, it is literally a productivity killer. Research shows that mental blocks from switching tasks can cause productivity to drop by as much as 40%. More shocking, a University of London study showed that multitasking men saw their IQ decline by 15 points.
Want more proof? Research from the University of Sussex suggests that multitasking can actually cause brain damage. Study participants who had been addicted to using multiple devices simultaneously had a lower grey-matter density in an area of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex. This area of the human brain is related to emotional control, empathy, decision-making plus the brain’s response towards receiving and getting rewards.
You should stop trying to accomplish everything simultaneously. Instead, focus your attention on one task at a time to increase productivity. You can’t let your eyes wander to another thing if you keep your eyes on one task at a time. This will prevent this area of your brain from being harmed through constant multitasking.
To-Do Lists for Each Night
When you create a list of things that you need to do, these are great productivity tools. To-do lists are great for organizing your thoughts, helping you to stay focused and rewarding you with satisfaction when things are completed.
It will save you time each night to make or update your to-do lists so that you don’t waste time searching for your task when you get up in the morning. It might be worth sharing your list with someone. Buffer’s co-founder Leo Wildrich discusses the benefits of this new and improved form of multitasking that has been around for years. He simply lists the tasks on a sheet of paper that he needs to get done, and that’s all you have to do. The next day, all that was required was to focus on the task at hand to complete as many of them as possible.
Reduce The Number Of Things On Your To-Do List
How many items are on your average to-do list? 28? 8? No matter how many, you’ll feel accomplished when you’ve completed each one and then you can legitimately cross them off. If you don’t complete some of these tasks before you start, you will never be one of the productivity superstars. Use Tracktime24 to allocate and effectively manage tasks.
Walter Isaacson is the author of The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs and he shares his story about how Apple’s insistence on producing only four computers is why the company is still around. He also talks about how Jobs used his to-dos to help him focus. Jobs started to take his “top 100” people to retreats every year after he had restructured the company. He would ask the question, “What 10 things will you be accomplishing now?” on the last day. People would work hard to get their suggestions on that list. Jobs would then write them down and cross off the ones that he considered dumb. After much jockeying, the group would create a list with 10. Jobs would then reduce the seven bottom positions and announce that he could only do three. By doing this, he allowed everyone to participate in the list-making process and narrow their focus.
Focusing is about minimizing your total number of options. So, each night as you go through your to-do list review, ask yourself two specific questions. What are the most important tasks on this list?
What is the realistic number of these tasks that I can accomplish today, and if not today, get done tomorrow?
Don’t Forget To Delegate Properly
Like a nail gun to driving nails, delegation is a key to productivity. It’ll amaze you how much easier and faster your job will become once you have it. If you do it correctly, that is. Managers and business professionals often describe delegation as a polar bear swim in that the primary objective is to jump in as quickly as possible, and also exit quickly, which is what you need to do when doing any task.
Why is this? The most common reason is that delegating a task, or multiple tasks, may make it more difficult for the person delegating the things to do. The person doing this needs to realize that the primary objective is not micromanaging, but to actually delegate a task and then make sure that that person stays on task.
If you can delegate well, you will have more time to work on your own projects. It’s important to delegate the right task, to someone you trust, who is competent to perform the job. While it can take some getting used to, you will be amazed at the productivity you can achieve when you let go of trying to micromanage everything and simply trust the people around you to get the job done.