Getting More Done

There are a lot of distractions when it comes to modern day life. As a result, most of us seem to be doing a lot more but getting less work done. Multi-tasking is considered an ideal skill and you may not feel productive unless you can answer your emails, paint your toenails, read through your assignments and then walk and chew gum at the same time. Multi-tasking can, however, mean that the work that you do takes longer than it should and is of a lesser quality. At the end of the day, it does not save time at all.

The difference between being busy and being productive is that productivity gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Simply being busy makes you feel overwhelmed. Your aim should be to be more efficient rather than to simply be busy.

How to be More Productive

A lot of people only realise after their health has been damaged that productivity is a lot more important than increasing the amount of time spent at work.

1) Curtail the networking you do – We tend to spend a lot of time networking but this can often be more of a social event than actually business related. Chatting does not count as networking. You also need to stop colleagues who just drop in to chat – this wastes a lot of time. Social networking is just the new face of networking so limit the time you spend on it.

2) Brainstorming Sessions – In order to get the best out of the project, you need to do a little brainstorming ahead of time. This will give you a good idea of the different ways that you can tackle the project. You will be able to discount some ideas right off the bat and will be able to thus save time by developing only the better ideas.

3) One thing at a Time – Multi-tasking has been proven to be ineffective. The human brain is not capable of fully switching focus every few minutes. This means that neither task will end up getting the proper attention and neither will be done to the best of your ability. Having your brain reset whilst you are switching between tasks also slows it down – your brain has to refocus with every switch. If you find it difficult to stop multi-tasking, take temptation out of the way. Switch off the computer when you are watching TV, for example.

You will find that it is quite easy to get things done if you have nothing else that you can do. Consider for a moment the ancient Egyptians – I wonder if they would have been able to build the pyramids if they had had emails to answer.

4) Limit the Number of Daily Projects – Feeling overwhelmed may make it even more difficult to get your work done. When you feel overwhelmed, your brain starts to shut down as a coping mechanism. You will be far better off choosing to complete two or three high priority tasks daily rather than having a to-do list that is a mile long.

Overall, being productive is more about the quality than the quantity of the work that you do. Set yourself the goal of being more productive and you will be amazed at how much work you will be able to do.

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