You might think that you’ve been working efficiently, but the truth is, multitasking between many things at once is far from productive. In fact, it produces the exact opposite result. Let’s face it, you’re just getting distracted. When you think about productiveness and multitasking as a pair, you should understand that this thinking is incorrect. In truth, single-minded focus is the key to being the most productive you can be.
Here are a few steps that can help you increase your productivity – I promise, none of them involve being on Facebook!
1. Train Yourself to Focus
Don’t confuse yourself any longer. If you think that multitasking provides a better work environment for you, you should know that it’s nothing more than a way to procrastinate. Simple relief often comes in the form of another work interruption, and when you try to multitask, you convince yourself that the client, or paperwork, is more important than the task you’re currently working on. Unfortunately, if you constantly move from one task to another often without finishing what you started, you’re simple avoiding an unpleasant situation. Ask yourself why you’re doing this? Answer yourself honestly, and then take action to change your situation.
2. Set Goals For Yourself
If you’re not, sure what direction you should be going in, then it’s easy to become distracted and lose track of what you need to be done. It’s also easy to fall into this pattern when you’re multitasking, or when trying to avoid portions of a job you don’t like.
If this sounds familiar, consider making a list for yourself. That means ‘one’ list. Why? Because it’s very easy to fall into a habit of constantly updating your list and rearranging it, instead of actually completing a task; another form of procrastination.
Start your day with a list of everything you must do and a time to complete each one. Only update your task list when you’ve completed a task. If you practice this exercise for a few days, you will soon find that you can remember your whole list after looking at it once in the morning. With this efficient way to manage your time, you won’t have to make difficult decisions about what to do with your day, or what steps you should be taking. This one tip alone is a great way to make the most out of boosting your productivity.
3. Know When to Say ‘No’
If you’re going to be busy, don’t advertise to others that you are going to be ‘open’. The best way to have others treat us well is to lead by example. This also includes the way you handle interruptions. Do you always give the person interrupting your activities the absolute priority?
This tells your guest that you will always stop what you’re doing to help them, no matter how menial the task may be. If you don’t get a handle on these interpersonal communications, you may soon find that your time and attention are being diverted from the tasks that require the attention the most. This isn’t fair to you or your business.
Make it known that you have specific times that you are available to others, and don’t change them. Be sure to tell your friends and family what your personal hours are. Not everyone understands all of the details behind working from home, so be sure to let them know that although you are a freelancer, you are not spending all of your time leisurely.
4. Log Out and Log Off
When you’re working on your computer, you should log out of your other social programs such as email and chat programs. Make sure you log off all your social media sites like your Facebook, or Instagram. Turn off your cell phone if necessary. There is nothing that will happen in such a short amount of time that it will require your attention immediately. In this aspect, have an emergency only contact email or number, yet you should not attempt to multitask on these personal sites, while working.
5. Take Breaks On Time
When working from a computer, most people can work diligently for about 2 hours a time before a break is required. What could you do with 2 hours of uninterrupted time? With these simple rules for your productivity, you can accomplish in a single day, what you used to accomplish in a week!
A good rule is to set a timer for an hour and start working. Every time your timer goes off, take a five-minute break and go into a different part of the house. Spend a few minutes outside or have a cup of coffee. Then, get back to work until the timer goes off again. Keep going until you’ve finished all your work for the day and see how much more you have accomplished!