Does multitasking all day leave you feeling more overwhelmed than ever?
While many people think that multitasking improves productivity, it actually lowers our quality of work, stresses us out, and limits how much we can do.
Research shows that switching from one task to another slows us down by 40 percent and can even drop our IQs by 10 points. Because our stress levels rise when we get distracted and don’t finish work, we also increase our potential for making mistakes. We end up being less effective and a lot more scattered.
And when you are working at home on your business, feeling stressed and scattered can make it feel difficult to succeed with your home based business.
If that sounds difficult in today’s hyper-technological world, consider the benefits: With fewer interruptions, you’ll feel calmer. You’ll work faster and smarter. And you’ll produce quality work because you’re paying attention to details.
Here’s how to limit multitasking and boost your productivity:
- Focus on Daily Tasks. Identify a “must do” item for each day. Work on that item when your energy is high and you’re feeling most focused. Concentration will be easier.
- Set Blocks of Time for Each Group of Tasks. Schedule time for doing similar tasks, such as making and responding to phone calls or emails. Only do those tasks during the scheduled time block.
- Focus on One Task at a Time. As you move through your daily priority items, work on one item only. Set a timer to create the extra challenge of a tighter deadline; the less time we have, the less opportunity for multitasking. If you need more incentive, remember that the more productive you are, the more money you can make!
- Limit Distractions. If email alerts or messages pop up on your screen, do yourself a favor and turn them off. The same goes for your cell phone—turn off sound and place away from your work space until it’s your blocked time to make and receive calls. Even those extra tabs in your browser can tempt and distract you from the project you’re working on. Avoiding distractions might seem tough to do, but with practice, your productivity and concentration levels increase without the interruptions.
- Improve Concentration. If you’re tempted to check email or text messages (when the work you’re doing is less interesting to you and you’re more easily distracted), then take a short break. Sit quietly and think about the value of the work you’re doing and how it will affect your business. Go back to work with a renewed sense of accomplishment and concentration. It will be much easier to get the task done.
Think of multitasking as your enemy. Train your brain to focus on one task at a time. You’ll feel more focused. Your work will improve, which will make your clients happier. What’s not to like about that?
If this helps you, please do leave us a comment on how it has helped.