Let us guess, you have read several books and guides about getting things done but you are still wondering how you can get even more things done in a shorter period of time. Various methodologies are all nice and smart, nevertheless you struggle with accomplishing your daily tasks from time to time. In the end, you have to postpone some of them which leaves you super frustrated. While motivation should be your main driver, you notice that it disappears along the way. The good news is that you can stop that vicious circle. You just need to realize a couple of things:
1. When you have all the time in the world, you will not be more productive.
It’s a fact: you will simply take more time to accomplish things. Have you noticed how many tasks you are able to perform when you have limited time or when the deadly deadline is approaching? Or, in other words, how unproductive you are when your calendar is empty for the given day? Does this sound familiar? Yeah, you are not the only one! It’s amazing how suddenly we become more creative and productive once there is no time to lose. The key is not to have more hours to spend on a given task but to have more energy to get things done. Why don’t you cut your workday short? Learn when is your most productive moment and take advantage of it. Come to the office 30 minutes later or leave 30 minutes earlier and stay energized to finish your tasks and duties before your deadline.
2. Multitasking is a bad habit.
Now this is something totally unpopular to say, huh? You have been told to be flexible. Keep all eyes and ears open! Stay connected! Watch your incoming e-mails and phone calls! Be productive and creative all day long! Be responsive… Wow! You should be a machine then.
First of all, we – as human beings – are not able to stay focused on multiple tasks for a longer period of time. While it’s cool and undoubtedly feasible to drive a car / jog and listen to your favorite podcasts or audiobooks, it’s totally not fun to work on a very important report for the steering committee meeting and, during the same time, answering e-mails and phone calls and being responsive to your younger colleagues who have multiple questions about the web application. Every time you are being disturbed, you are missing a couple of minutes to get back to what you have just been doing. It may take up to 20 minutes to recover from a shift in attention, according to psychologists. It’s another fact. Try this simple tip: switch your mailbox on only around noon. This way, you will have all the morning to keep your attention on the most important tasks.
3. Remembering all your tasks and to-do lists can cause brain drain.
And then again, why should you be trying to remember all your duties for the given day? Obviously, you can write them down in a traditional notebook but hey, nowadays, there are many mobile applications which help you have everything under control so you can just focus on getting things done. Yes, it’s important to train your brain but you can do that while learning Japanese or Spanish. Focus on more important and more productive tasks rather then simple to-do lists which can be checked wherever you are. EveryDay is one of these applications that will help you manage your tasks and projects, wherever you are. Simple and functional. Synched on your computer and smartphone. Life’s easy!
4. Stop doing the easy stuff first and eat that frog!
We know it’s tempting to start your day with the easy tasks. They are nice, they make you feel good, you complete them in the blink of an eye. Wow, how productive! Last thing you know, you have completed thousands of such tasks and it’s already 5pm! You haven’t had the time (and chance?) to touch that big ugly project. And its deadline is approaching… Oh no, you will have to speak to the project manager and ask him to postpone the deadline as you are too busy with the other stuff. You have been there, haven’t you?
You should really stop going that path. It won’t lead you anywhere nice. Each morning, identify the most important tasks for the day and start performing them. Do not postpone. Deal with them. If you still have some time left in the afternoon, go ahead with the smaller ones. Accomplished a really big fat task or project? Feeling proud? Now that’s the motivation and sense of accomplishment we’re talking about!
Once you realize these are the real show stoppers, you will start thinking differently. The changes aren’t easy to be introduced into your daily life but you might want to try to do it step by step. Try and observe if you are performing any better. If you feel more accomplished and motivated maybe it’s time for the bigger shift?