Turn off your phone and your emails for just one hour and see how much work you get done!
We have heard so many times that we need to multi-task in order to be efficient and get everything done in our day, but this could not be further from the truth.
In this day and age where an alert pops up and we look at it immediately, distracting us from our original task and making us loose our train of thought. Yet we keep doing it.
The human brain is not designed to jump from one task to another, it actually increases the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Being stressed makes us less productive, more anxious and clouds our concentration.
Multi-tasking only works for tasks that are second-nature and routine or use different parts of the brain, for example we are quite good at eating and talking because the motor skills that are used are different.
Generally speaking mono-tasking (doing one task at a time) will ensure a better output and more efficient use of time.
Here are some tips for mono-tasking:
- Remove distractions - put your phone away, turn your email alerts off and close browser windows that you don't need for the task at hand
- Ensure your desk is clean - clutter on the desk often can increase stress levels (even if it is sub-conscious) and can also serve as a distraction.
- Plan ahead - have a to-do list and allocate time for each task, important tasks should be allocated for times of the day where you are least likely to be distracted
- Set up blocks of time for each task - generally, you shouldn't work on the same task for more than 1.5 hours without a break as your brain will become less effective after this time.
So try putting away the distractions and see how much work you get done and the quality of that work!