The Enemy of Productivity

Multi tasking is not a skill, it's a detriment to getting things done. It kills productivity. It stifles creativity, and it's the complete opposite of focus. It's physically impossible to do two things at once, unless one of them is mindless like walking or breathing. Even when talking or listening, we actually have reduced attention span and won’t hear or say things as well if we are trying to do other things at the same time. So when we are “multi tasking"  we aren't doing two things at once, we are just switching our brain rapidly from one task to another. Which this makes it virtually impossible to concentrate. We scan the crowd when in a conversation, we check email incessantly while working on an important project and we get......So. Little. Done. Not acceptable!

It's best to sit down and do one thing at a time, and then move on to the next. If we completely finish something, it can be out of our brain and we can use all our energy and attention to tackle the next project and complete it. If you struggle with concentration, try these two simple techniques to improve your focus.

1. Set a timer. 

Don’t try to go all out and concentrate for an entire day. If you aren’t used to it, you will be fighting your brain the entire time trying to maintain the willpower to keep your thoughts and mouse from wandering. Instead, give yourself 30 minutes where you will be ultra focused and allow yourself to do absolutely nothing but the task at hand. That amount of time is manageable for you to focus, and then you can take a break and do little tasks. Then try another 30 minutes, then another, and eventually you will have learned to control your impulses to do lots of things at once.

2. No interruptions.

turn off your wi-fi, cell phone, alerts and lock your door. Yes we usually sabotage ourselves by checking email, texting etc. But a huge amount of interruptions are generally from the outside as well. You can control that. Take a break. Unplug, and be productive. If you are afraid of missing something important, let people know that you won’t be available so they can contact you later. Tell them you have a dead zone from 2-4pm every day, and then disappear into your project. Even just two hours of focused work is better than an entire 8 hour day with too many water cooler conversations, internet surfing and bathroom breaks.

When you are engrossed in your work with zero interruptions, you will find yourself refreshed and much more productive.  Try it out!

If you asked my advice....

You have no limits, except the ones you place on yourself Our problems are trivial

Actions come before feelings

Learn to take a joke

Do things that scare you

Admit you are wrong.

Agree with the person who is accusing/arguing with you. Nothing kills an argument like joining their side

You choose how you feel, and how you let others make you feel

Give true, accurate compliments, we all need them

83 things I want to tell you before I die

1. Laugh more, you’ll live longer 2. Be enthusiastic about life. It’s contagious

3. Hug your family more than you do

4. Do something new, don’t keep doing the same things, expecting different results

5. Be self aware, but not so self aware that you become self involved

6. Seek to understand and seek to be understood yourself

7.  Check your internal dialogue. How you talk to yourself, determines what you think of yourself

8. Visualize success. So you know once you get there

9. Set realistic expectations for other people, so you won’t be disappointed by their actions

10. Create a daily task list, so nothing gets out of hand

11. Schedule time for relaxation and enjoyment, it’s not a reward, its a need

12. Be brutally realistic about your present circumstances, and wildly unrealistic about your future

13. Get up early, you’ll be more productive

14. Find others who support you, not who want to change you

15. Don’t talk about yourself as much, instead listen

16. Seek to bring value to other people

17. Take care as to how you present yourself, that’s what people will judge you on

18. Life is a joyful, beautiful, messy thing. Don’t miss it

19. It’s not about you

20. Celebrate accomplishments. It’ll motivate you to reach more goals

21. Don’t assign motives to people’s actions

22. Help others, you will find more joy helping others, than helping yourself

23. Love whoever is right in front of you

24. Chase your dreams, you’ll feel more alive

25. Workout. You will age slower

26. Give random surprise gifts, they mean more

27. Try for difficult things and be okay to fail

28. Make good decisions, you’ll have to explain yourself to someone

29. Don’t worry, its incredibly silly

30. Compete with yourself, not others

31. Send handwritten cards

32. Eat to live, not live to eat

33. Take that chance, you’ll be glad you did

34. Dance, you'll feel freedom

35. Read classic literature

36. Choose your friends wisely, you will become just like them

37. Say “no” kindly, and often

38. Get rid of clutter, it slows you down, and holds you back

39. See past what people are, to what they can be

40. Go to church, your soul needs nourishment just like your body

41. Be grateful, its the surest way to contentment

42. You are beautiful. Don’t think otherwise

43. Work hard, thats how dreams are built

44. Love deeply. It’s risky, but it’s worth it

45. Take a personality test, you will discover a lot about yourself and others

46. Live inspired. You’ll never want to go back

47. Change the oil in your car as recommended

48. Don’t miss an opportunity to encourage someone

49. Share your stories, your dreams and your goals or we’ll never know

50. Wear jewelry, you should never feel frumpy

51. Regularly eat dinner as a family, it will keep you close

52. Ask about your child’s day and listen, or else someday you’ll want to know, and he won’t care to tell you

53. Doodle with sharpies, they spark creativity

54. Read to your kids, a love of books is one of the greatest gifts you can give them

55. Listen to music, it will uplift you

56. What you tell yourself is what you’ll come to believe

57. Make good habits, you’ll do the right thing without even thinking about it

58. Don’t be in a job you hate, Life is just too short

59. Recognize there are more than two options. Be creative looking for solutions

60. Get a color analysis, it’s a great investment

61. Think the best of people, if you’re wrong, oh well!

62. Don’t lead people on, in business or love. You are wasting their time and yours

63. Clean under your bed, you’ll find something you're missing

64. Smile, it’s contagious

65. Be extra kind to your cashiers and waitresses, they are serving you

66. Take care of your health now, before it’s too late

67. Lift weights and run. Don’t do one to the detriment of the other

68. Be generous, your money is worthless unless put to a good cause

69. Don’t allow others to shape your perception of yourself

70. Be yourself, we all so often aren’t

71. Join a group, community is powerful

72. "Bored" should be a nonexistent word, there’s so much life to experience

73. Be patriotic

74. Care about your freedoms because if you don’t, someone else will and you might not like it.

75. Keep your promises, even promises to yourself

76. Don’t live this life with bitterness and hatred, you are only hurting yourself

77. Get perspective. It’s the best way to avoid self pity

78. Be curious about life

79. Your life has meaning or else you wouldn’t be here

80. You’re not alone in your troubles

81. Don’t do anything you’d be embarrassed if your mother found out

82. Drink more water. Your body is 60% water. You’re just not drinking enough

83. Be authentic and genuine, and you’ll be irresistible