Can you pat your head with one hand while you are rubbing your stomach with the other? You may have tried this trick when you were a child, but I want you to take just a few moments and try it again. If you really focus, it becomes pretty easy! Now rub your head while patting your stomach. Not as easy, right? Science tells us that though the brain is an amazing part of the body, it works best when it can focus on just one task at a time. Switching back and forth between tasks, trying to do too many things at once, all require an enormous amount of brain work. By simplifying and allowing your brain to work on just one task at a time, you will then be able to focus all your attention and creativity resulting in a more productive work day.
Here are tips from this NYC Professional Office Organizer to help you stop multi-tasking and start increasing your productivity.
Avoid interruptions. The simplest way to do this is to just turn things off – your cell phone, your email notifications, your office phone, etc. Put a “do not disturb” sign on your office door when you are focused on completing a task. If you are working on your computer, close out all windows and apps that aren’t being used to complete your task.
Schedule focused work times. When you have a big task to accomplish, make an appointment with yourself. Add it to your calendar and block out the time for it. During that time, focus solely on your one project. When you give yourself the time and space to work, and allow yourself the benefit of no distractions, you will immediately increase your productivity!
Don’t forget the breaks. When you are laser focused on one task for a period of time, be sure to give yourself a break. Take 5 to 10 minutes to reset before diving back into that project or starting another. If you find yourself losing focus while working, perhaps your thoughts are drifting or you’ve had to read the same sentence over a few times, stop working. Get up from your desk, take a walk, get some water or a snack. By giving your mind and body a bit of a break, you’ll be centered and more focused when you get back to work.
Allow yourself to be human. Here’s the thing – perfection does not exist. You cause yourself a lot less stress when you give yourself a bit of grace. Think about this – when you learned to ride a bike, you didn’t excel that first time out. It took practice. The same goes for dedicating your focus to one task at a time. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at it.
To increase your productivity at work, just stop multi-tasking. How productive are you at work? Take this Productivity Assessment from your NYC Professional Office Organizer.