Nowadays we are surrounded by so many distractions. Every time when you turn on your computer with the intention to get a particular task done, you most likely end up checking emails, replying to some messages and doing something totally different from what you planned at the beginning. Needless to mention our phones that are beeping and pinging with new alerts demanding our attention. All those distractions lead to us not being able to focus on one thing and multitasking.
All those distractions result in us multitasking, switching our focus between several tasks and not really concentrating on any of them. Multitasking decreases productivity drastically. Therefore, you stay busy all the time but do not actually get tasks done as quickly as you could have.
I sincerely consider multitasking a problem and want to share with you the ways how to fight it.
1. Plan your day beforehand.
I have to confess, I am a planning geek. I plan everything from work-related tasks (for this I have a long-term list, daily list, and a backlog), spare-time activities to everyday meals for a week. Remember, if you do not have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you have a clear understanding of what you are going to do during the day you do not allow outside influences to take control over your activity.
Make a list of things you want to accomplish tomorrow before you finish your work for the day. When you start a new day, begin at the top of the list with the first item. Don’t start anything else until you finish the first task. Don’t switch to another task or start multitasking.
When you have a plan for the day your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish. It’ll subconsciously prepare itself for a sustained period of focused work.
2. Turn off notifications on your computer and phone to avoid multitasking.
When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how concentrated you currently are. It seems that checking a notification doesn’t get a lot of time. The main problem is that you lose your focus and have to find your way back to the task you were working on. Moreover, after checking out an email notification you may find yourself multitasking. You may start replying to the email you’ve just received abandoning your previous task.
So, the right thing to do is to turn off all the notifications. Schedule email reviewing only a couple of times per day between the periods of your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.
3. Find a quiet place to work.
If you have important work to get done consider going to a place where you will have your peace and can work uninterruptedly. Or you can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other non-important tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.
Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be challenging. However, the benefits to the amount of work you complete are worth it. If you stop multitasking you’ll make fewer mistakes, get more done and will feel less tired at the end of the day. So start single-tasking!