1. Do NOT Multitask
Yep, you heard us. On the surface, multitasking looks like an efficient way to complete multiple things at once.In reality, however, most of our brains are unable to effectively process all of the intricacies of multiple tasks. According to an article written by theCleveland Clinic, only 2.5% of people can actually multitask. For the rest of us, when we attempt to overexert our focus abilities by attempting to interweave complex tasks, our focus is thereby divided. It doesn’t take a genius to conclude that this leaves our work vulnerable to mistakes and oversight. When our attention is divided between several different important jobs, it isn’t a matter of if you are going to make a big error, but when.Think of multitasking as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. On the outside it might make sense to let it into your workflow because it appears to belong there.However, it truly is just waiting for the perfect time to bite you in the hindquarters. By focusing on one singular objective at a time, you simplify your workflow, and amplify your efficiency. Now, you must be asking, “What is the most effective way to work on my tasks, then?” We are so glad you asked.Enter number two on our list…
2. Work in Sprints
And, no, we aren’t talking about running on the track, or sprinting downhill on your tandem bike. Our brains have limited capacity in what they can do before attention starts to deviate. We have been taught to put our nose to the grindstone, and to not let up until the work is finished. However, it is probably safe to assume we have all found ourselves become willingly distracted with other less important tasks while working on something that is priority. That’s why work sprints, or highly focused, shorter stints of work, are much more effective than partially engaged, attention-divided work for hours at a time. Here is what we suggest. Turn off your notifications for email, texts, and social media (airplane mode works great for this). Then, set a timer for 40 minutes. Make it a goal that within those 40 minutes, you remain undistracted, regardless of what intrusive reminders may invade your thoughts. Metaphorically, push them aside and redirect your attention to the task at hand. When the 40 minutes is up, get up and break for 20 minutes. Get a cup of coffee, take a walk, check your phone, respond to Slack. The goal of the recovery period is to relax and recover for the next sprint ahead. When that is over, do the same thing again. This is a simple and proven method to increase productivity and refresh mental energy.
3. Make a Daily Top 5 To-Do List
Ok, so what should you work on during your non-multitasking work sprint? This is where a short-but-sweet list of your top five objectives of the day will be imperative to simplifying and amplifying daily operations in your business. First, let’s address why physically writing (or typing) a list makes such a difference. Lists are the most fundamental of organizational tools. When used correctly, they can create an efficient order of operations that streamline work. However, if the list of tasks has 18 items, this risks attention being divided between them. Instead, we suggest only five tasks be written for the day. Why? When a list is limited to only five slots, it forces us to prioritize the truly important work for that day. The second reason is we advocate for a top five list is rooted in psychology. The act of checking off tasks on a list releases dopamine, which makes you feel good, and motivates you to keep going. If the list is too big, it can overshadow the wonderful effects of your brain telling you, “Great job; have a dopamine cookie”. And who turns away cookies?
Due to their ease of application, we are pretty confident that you will notice a positive difference in company output when applying these three tips. Although there are tens, maybe hundreds, more ways to simplify to amplify your work life, we hope that these three kickstart you to a new kind of workflow. Just remember, any kind of change in routine takes practice. However, we are convinced that once you implement this in your organization, you will be pleased to see what happens once you lead by example in these ways. If you or your team need help with workflows in your marketing, we can help! Contact us to speak to one of our spokes-persons today!