“Today’s the day! I’m going to stay focused and get a lot more work done.”
How many mornings have you told yourself something like that? And how often do you end the day feeling satisfied with your accomplishments? If it’s less often than you would like to admit, you’re not alone. It’s so easy to start the day bursting with determination, but there are endless distractions and complications.
If you’re focused on making more money, attracting that ideal client, or growing your online business, productivity is one of the most important skills to learn. You’ve been told to put down your phone and stop checking email a million times. Why? Well, we’re going to tell you that you may be destroying your productivity by doing the following.
Once you know what is likely killing your ability to get more done, you can focus on building new habits that lead to greater productivity and success.
Spend Your Time Switchtasking
Every business coach and psychologist seems to have an opinion on multitasking. Some swear by it, while others believe in simply focusing on one task to completion. Most likely, multitasking works for some people, but not so well for others, depending on a variety of factors like personality and the type of work you’re doing.
The problem isn’t necessarily with multitasking. It’s that you’re most likely switchtasking rather than multitasking. Let’s look at the definitions:
- Multitasking – Doing two or more things simultaneously, but with most cognitive power on one primary task. For instance, you may listen to an audiobook while doing the dishes. You can do a continuous task such as washing dishes while focusing most of your brain power on the audiobook.
- Switchtasking – Switching primary focus between two or more tasks. Imagine you’re now trying to read a printed book while washing dishes. You may prop the book up in front of you, but will still need to actively focus on the book to read, and then switch your hands to the book to turn pages. Instead of doing both tasks simultaneously, you’re switching your brain from one to the other repeatedly.
If you’re doing two primary tasks and cannot focus your brain mostly on one, then you’re probably switchtasking. It’s difficult to accomplish more, increase revenue, and attract ideal clients when you spend most of your day allowing your focus to jump all over the place.
The solution is to focus your brain on one primary task at a time. It’s okay to multitask, but make sure one task is something you can do without direct focus. Larry Rosen, PhD, recommends holding your attention on one task for just 15 minutes at a time. When you master that, start increasing the time that you train your brain to focus.
Live Your Life One Task at a Time
We just talked about multitasking, and now we’re telling you not to focus on one task at a time? It may sound that way, but not quite. What we’re talking about here is finding ways to bring tasks from the different areas of your life together. You can create more productive habits when you find connections between things you do regularly and form them into new habits.
For instance, you may know that you want to get to the gym by the end of the day, but you also need to take the kids to soccer practice, cook dinner, and still find time to scale your business or develop that new online marketing plan. It can feel overwhelming and reduce your productivity, or you can find ways to match those responsibilities to get more done in less time.
Also, what if you turned soccer practice into your social media networking block? Instead of playing a game on your phone or listening to gossip with other parents, you could take care of social media tasks on your phone for that marketing plan. You could also sit in your car and make networking calls to help reach your goal of building a six-figure business.
Write down everything you need to do in all areas of your life. Then look for connections and start building more productive habits.
Trust Your Brain to Remember Everything
Finally, there is one more way to wreck your productivity – and fast: never write anything down! Imagine coming up with a premium pricing strategy for your online business, but not writing it down. By the time you get to putting those numbers into your website or quoting them to an ideal client, you’re likely to forget exactly how you planned it out in your head.
As a busy professional with family life, social life, and endless responsibilities, it’s essential to write things down. Whether you use a paper calendar, a bound planner, or an app on your phone, your productivity will improve when you start recording everything immediately.
Don’t spend your time trying to remember things that you could have jotted down hours or days ago. Today is the day to stay focused and get more done. If you can avoid switchtasking, create stronger habits that combine tasks to be more efficient, and make writing things down a habit, you can develop that amazing business faster without neglecting other responsibilities.
Trust me when I say I know what it is like having to juggle life and business. I have a five-year-old and a two-year-old. My life is super filled with tasks and responsibilities. And so you get to be creative with how you can optimize your time as well. Try the hacks above to keep everything under control and keep yourself sane.