23 Apr Time Management – Work Less, Get More Results
“If you want to be more productive, you need to become master of your minutes.” – Crystal Pain
Multitasking decreases your efficiency because it affects your concentration. Doing two or three tasks is ridiculous. Not only does it make you less efficient, it also produces sloppy work. On the other hand, doing one task at a time makes you fulfilled and proud because the result is brilliant.
Your brain is not programmed to multitask. Your brain can only process one activity at a time. You cannot solve a calculus problem and at the same time do cooking. Neither can you write an article while doing your laundry work. Cooking while solving a problem in calculus may result in forgetting an ingredient or wrong computations. Writing an article while doing the laundry can result in a run-of-the-mill article or using more electricity as you’ve forgotten that laundry and the washing machine has stopped.
Doing two things at the same time is forcing your brain to “context switching.” This means that when you stop with the first task to begin the second task, you have to remember where you left off so you can resume the 1st task. It’s the same if you stop doing the 2nd task to continue doing the 1st task. This pattern slackens your brain due to the complicated chain of actions. Observe your computer, it slows down or would even hang up if you open several windows or give numerous commands simultaneously.
So, is it then possible to get more things done efficiently in less time? The answer is “Yes”. You can actually increase your productivity by working less. How can you do it? Get multitasking out of your mind and see how you can be more productive in less time.
The Signs of Context Switching
This is the current situation in many offices, business establishments, and even at home. You cannot focus completely on work because you have a couple or three jobs at once. You have not finished one task and yet here you are starting another. Getting caught in this dilemma can wear you out easily, both your brain and energy. You also lose control of the situation, making you irritable, short-tempered, and anxious.
- You get distracted quickly. When this happens, you forget what you were doing before getting sidetracked or where you left off, so you start doing a new task or start all over again.
End-result: You have difficulty focusing.
- You bring your work anywhere. You attend a friend’s birthday party yet you continue to blabber about your work, or you are watching a movie with your family but continue to check your emails or phone for any messages.
End-result: You always feel tired because you have forgotten how to relax.
- You forget about breaks. Your brain says “take a break” but you ignore it. All you want to do is to finish the task at hand before taking a break, ignoring even your tummy.
End-result: Low energy and loss of concentration and may even feel dizzy, so you get stuck and may not even finish the task.
“Time management is life management”. – Robin Sharma
How to get out of context switching to make use of your time wisely? Well, your body knows the time when to work and rest. Overworking your body is not good. Even athletes can get sick if they train more than they should do. They need to take a rest to prevent any damage to their body. Over resting, though, is also harmful. If you over rest, your body will weaken.
- Take a break. Breaks are given so your mind and body can rest, so make the most of those minutes. Enjoy your breaks, whether it is a 15-minute break or a one-hour lunch break. Avoid getting mental and physical burn out.
- Build a “focus and stop mode.” Set 90 minutes for work and a break for 30 minutes. Follow this “focus and stop mode” consistently to increase your output. Do not go beyond the set mode as getting more breaks can slacken your performance. Try your best to complete the first task (focus mode) in the morning, keeping focused for 90 minutes. This helps you accomplish more in less time.
For your first break (stop mode), switch off to change gears. Turn off your laptop and stay away from your desk. Clear your thoughts on work, take the 30 minutes to relax. Take a snack or a light meal or have a power nap. A power nap is enough to get your brain and body energized. This sleep session should last between 10 to 30 minutes, as longer than that will make you feel groggy and tired. This will make you feel recharged when you resume your work.
Get the “focus mode” four times a day. With four sessions of the focus mode in one day, you have six hours of focused attention and get more things done instead of working on two, three or four tasks for eight hours in the “mixed mode.”
You are more focused if your brain is free of disturbances. Your body responds better and you have more energy because you give it time to rest. A clear mind and energetic body allow you to get more things done efficiently in less time!