Do you find that your workdays often get out of hand? You start each day with plans to get so much done, but soon you find yourself getting distracted, focusing on low-priority tasks, and just putting things off. How do you get back in charge of your time?
A one size fits all approach is a bit of a myth. In order to improve productivity, it’s essential to understand what side of the productivity line you’re on. Are you a multi-tasker or a procrastinator?
Tips to Improve Your Productivity if You’re a Multi-tasker
Even the best of us has a limited amount of cognitive bandwidth, which is the number of thoughts, tasks, and memories we can focus on at one time. Your brain may try to convince itself to think it can do more than it can, but when you go back and forth between tasks, it has to work extra hard to keep track of many thoughts at once.
You might not realize it, but when you multitask, you end up making more mistakes, which then take more time since you have to go back and fix them. You also severely limit your creative capacity when you have multiple tabs open at once. If this is you, take the following steps.
- Slow down and take each thing one at a time.
- Use one monitor to help remove distractions.
- Working in intervals can help you stay on task.
- Get up and move if you start to feel your focus wavering.
Tips to Improve Productivity if You’re a Procrastinator
The biggest thing that can keep a procrastinator on track is if they have an accountability partner. This is someone who’s checking in to make sure things are progressing and not all shoved to the side of the desk.
Make a to-do list but don’t be too focused on the production. Far too many procrastinators enjoy making a list more than checking anything off the list. Keep your list simple and to the point. Only put four to five things on it at a time, or it might seem too lofty, which causes your procrastinating mind to want to move on. Only give yourself five minutes, no more than ten, to create your list. This will help keep you on track.
You may be reading this and thinking you’re a combination of the two. Or you might not resonate with either. Whichever the case may be, these tips can transfer over to help increase productivity for most of us. Once you’re more productive, you’ll seem less stressed and gain more freedom.