Productivity is a tricky thing. We could spend hours and hours reading about it when in reality our to-do list is only growing longer. But every so often we need a good reminder on what is the most efficient way to spend our work day. The most important thing is to do what works for you. Don’t get caught up in productivity trends or absolutes — everyone works differently. That being said, there area a few “productive” things we find ourselves doing that end up hurting us in the long run. Here they are:
Multitasking is a myth. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Yes, you can chew gum and walk at the same time but that’s about as far as multitasking goes. Doing things like responding to emails on your phone while you’re supposed to be listening and contributing during an important meeting will only make your day harder, not easier.
2. Obsessing over your to-do list.
Write it down, then get it done. If you’re a procrastinator and like to avoid what you’ve written at the top of the list, start your day by working on something small and simple. Once you’re feeling confident and motivated, move on to that big project. Cross it off and continue. If something takes longer to write down on your list than to actually do it, just do it. In short: less talk, more action.
3. Writing an email.
Sometimes a phone call or a quick meeting can wrap up a project or solve an issue much faster than a long and detailed email. Think about the best ways to use your time before you sit down at the computer.
4. Doing it yourself.
Part of learning how to manage your time is learning how to delegate. Sometimes that means you need to change your attitude especially if you’re the kind of person who feels that nothing can be done well unless you do it yourself. Just give it a try and see how it goes. You’ll likely be surprised.