How To Be More Productive
“Productivity is commonly defined as a ratio between the output volume and the volume of inputs. In other words, productivity is a term we use to describe efficiency, production, or output,” ~ to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
In our lives today, we are busier than ever before. We think technology has streamlined many tasks, but instead, we are given more tools that give us more and more to do with less time in which to do it. We are stressed and overwhelmed. To some, the phrase “time management” has become taboo, since it implies there are different ways to cram even more into our already overflowing lives.
We have been led to believe that if we don’t multitask every minute of our day we will not be productive. This can’t be farther from the truth. Successful people have long realized that focus is the key to being productive.
To be more productive, consider increasing your focus waking up each day, and looking forward to what you can achieve. Being focused means you are making progress towards what is most important to you. You will feel a greater sense of productivity and fulfillment.
Focus is important in both your personal and professional life. Let me share some tips and strategies on gaining and keeping your focus so you can be productive in everything you do. Multitasking is one of the most overrated skills people claim to have. In this report you’ll find out why you shouldn’t be multitasking, and what to do instead.
Why Focus Is Important?
Why is being focused so important in today’s world? What results happen when you are focused? Does being focused make you less stressed? Happier? If it’s so important, why don’t people focus more?
Being focused on one thing for a certain period allows you to do a better quality of work, more work gets done quicker, and your creative ideas flow easier. Being focused on one task at a time is less stressful on your mind. And being less stressed allows you to be happier.
It’s difficult for people to remain focused on one task for a variety of reasons. For one, we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with TV, radio, cell phones, the Internet social media, as well as a much larger population that lives closer together than ever before.
It’s difficult to get completely away from all these distractions. One way is to go to a room where you can shut your door and turn off your phone and email notifications.
When you focus on a single task, avoiding distractions, your brain becomes focused on that task alone. This lets you complete that task much more quickly than if you are trying to complete two or more tasks at once. For instance, let’s say you need to write a blog post, do your bookkeeping for the week, and research information for an upcoming speech. The best thing to do is to set aside all but one task. So, for this example, let’s say you’d like to write your blog, you want to give all your attention to writing. That means turning off the TV, cell phones, social media pings, closing your door, and putting all your attention on writing.
- By giving all your attention to the task without distraction, you can get it done much more quickly and with fewer mistakes. Your work will be of higher quality as well. Another benefit to being focused is that your creativity will kick in too. You’ll come up with new ideas associated with the task at hand.
- Being constantly connected to others and having many distractions that take away your focus can affect your stress levels as well as your productivity. When you aren’t focused, you don’t get as much done as you could if you were truly focused on the task you’re doing.
- Focusing on one thing for a certain period helps you think better. Having your mind scattered over several tasks at once keeps you from thinking about what you are actually doing. You only have time to complete a task quickly before you must move on to the next one. All the while you are trying to remember everything that has to be done. When you focus, you can think about only one thing for that period.
- Focusing allows your subconscious to do the work. Think about when you learned to ride a bike or drive a car. It was difficult in the beginning, but when you began focusing on what you were doing, your subconscious took over and helped you learn. The same is true in your everyday tasks. Once you begin focusing solely on one task, your subconscious helps you do them quicker and easier.
It’s important to focus on one task at a time to become more productive, do better quality work, and be less stressed. Focusing can help you be more creative and have more happiness.
Multitasking Is Overrated
If you’re like many people you spend most days multitasking. You’re probably so used to multitasking that you don’t even realize when you’re doing it. After all, it’s a skill many employers look for in their employees. Many people believe multitasking saves them time. There are many reasons why multitasking is bad. It’s better to focus instead though. Focusing lets you concentrate on one task or thought at a time, helping you create a better result for each task.
Many people like to multitask because they become bored working on one task at a time.
Multitasking Is A Bad Habit
You have to switch from task to task. This takes time for your mind to change into the right mindset for the new task. You have to take the time to remember where you left off.
- Multitasking leads to attention and memory loss. According to a study by Harvard Professor Clifford Nass, in findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, people who use online social media and other forms of electronic communications have trouble focusing their attention and have lower scores on memory tests.
Cognitive performance is diminished. A recent study by Zheng Wang, a professor at Ohio State University, showed that multitasking caused students to feel more productive, but showed they were actually reducing their cognitive skills abilities such as studying.
- It turns people off when you are interacting with them. People who multitask often find themselves coming in contact with others. If you only half pay attention to them, answering texts and phone calls while talking to them, you will lose their respect.
- Multitaskers lose productivity. Switching between tasks is counter-productive. You lose time and concentration every time you switch to a different task.
Multitaskers are less likely to finish one quality project. They may finish all their tasks for the day, but they will most likely be sub-par than if they had focused solely on one to completion.
Multitasking makes it difficult to focus entirely on each task you are doing. You are thinking about emails you have to respond to when writing a report and the phone calls you need to return even while you are thinking about the next task on your to-do list. This type of working environment doesn’t do anything but cause you stress.
Tips To Improve Focus
Maybe you want to focus on a single task, but find yourself easily distracted. You find it difficult to focus on what you are doing because you find your mind wandering, you’re worrying about everything or maybe you just have way too many things you need to do to choose just one task to start with.
Here are some ways you can improve your focus.
- Meditate: I try to allocate at least 30 minutes each day to meditate. If you can’t dedicate that much time you can still do a short breathing exercise. Focus on your breathing, really focusing on the air, how it touches your nostrils and enters your lips. How does it feel as it escapes? Your mind may wander, with many thoughts coming at you from all directions. When this happens bring your thoughts back to focusing on your breathing. Continue this process for several minutes. You’ll be amazed at how your mind is clear and you feel energized feel taking five or ten deep, meaningful breaths. The best part is you can do this anywhere, anytime.
- Breathing: Regulating your breathing relaxes your circulatory system and brings you a sense of peace.
- Listen: I listen to music to help improve my focus. Really concentrate on the music. Try to focus on a single instrument.
- Cut goals into small targets: Having an end goal in mind while working on the tasks to achieve it can frustrate you because your target goal might be too big or difficult. Your results won’t be quick, and it may seem like you aren’t getting any closer to the end. Instead of working toward the ultimate end goal, break it down into smaller, more achievable goals you can reach within a few days. Then cross each smaller goal off your list as you achieve it.
- Focus: Learning how to focus on one task at a time takes time and commitment. In our busy lives, we are pulled in many directions at one time. It’s best to begin your journey on a more focused life gradually. Remember, focus is such an important part of how productive you are. If you can focus on one task for a set amount of time you will be more productive in a shorter amount of time than you have been.
If you meditate daily and take time to enjoy nature and your family, not only will you see an improvement in your focus and productivity, you’ll feel less stressed!
“Most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time
and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?”~ Marcus Aurelius
Meditation is a habit that may come easily to some. I have been meditating for over five years, but there were many days I found myself slipping. These days, not so much, not since I completed the no-cost Action Habits Challenge by Connie Ragen Green, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, independent publisher, and serial entrepreneur. You can check it out here.
If you’re interested in revitalizing your life through meditation and would like to learn a virtually risk-free, and cost-effective practice, that people of all ages can do with a little patience and guidance and that will serve you for the rest of your life, I would love to connect with you. You can connect with me here.
I’m Donna SLam, who loves to blog about how meditation brings self-compassion, peace of mind, and clarity to my life and others by sharing tips and strategies to live a fulling and purposeful life. I enjoy championing others to lead a healthy and happy life through meditation, walking, self-development, and spending time with loved ones.Follow me on: