Context switching is killing your productivity (here's what to do about it)
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Most of us spend our days jumping between tasks and tools.
In fact, most people average only 3 minutes on any given task before switching to something else (and only 2 minutes on a digital tool before moving on).
Taking on additional tasks simultaneously can destroy up to 80% of your productive time:
You can’t expect to focus non-stop on a project for days on end. But at the same time, you won’t see any real progress if you mindlessly jump from one task to another.
You need a work schedule that pairs periods of sustained focus with rest in a way that’s purposeful and powerful.
... to reduce FOMO and productivity guilt. This will also help you to stay in the same mental space without worrying about what needs to be done:
... and use office hours to keep your focus throughout the week. One example is the Free, Focus, Buffer system popularized by business coach Dan Sullivan:
Split your day between Maker and Manager time:
To protect your focus, try to schedule at least a bit of Maker time into each day.
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This is known as the completion bias.
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You need to find out just where your time is going currently. You can use a pen and paper, a spreadsheet, or an app to visualize where you spend most of the hours in your day.
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Conventional wisdom states that strong habits improve our productivity. Daily habits done in an autopilot mode are not the only route to peak performance.
While our habits help us stick to g...
Some of our daily to-dos should not require a constant daily effort and could be optimized further. Look for such habits and if the daily effort is straining you, look for other innovative solutions.
Time and Energy are limited resources, and as we grow, our habits may become obsolete. We could use the same time and energy to explore new and better options.
It is a good idea to pay attention to where we spend our time and see if there is something we do daily but have outgrown long ago.
Being consistent can also lead to burnout and lack of growth, and to be creative and innovative, we sometimes need a break from our daily activity. When we stop and do something new, we start to be part of a creative process, instead of simply repeating the same thing every day.
The key is to not rely on a rigid consistency but to be resilient enough to withstand any breaks. Our resilient habits are usually the old ones and have some psychological rewards while involving some external accountability.
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Productivity Boost: Batch tasks. Grouping similar tasks together lets you get into a flow state and not waste any time switching between tasks.
Productivity Boost: You need to intersperse solo work with group work. Spending the entire day holed up in an office will actually backfire.
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Capture everything on a Master List and then break it down by monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
The matrix is a simple four-quadrant box that answers that helps you separate “urgent” tasks from “important” ones:
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Many of the multitasking warnings actually refer to the concept of “task switching.” It refers to switching your attention from one thing to another.
Frequently flipping back and forth...
While you’ve likely heard that it’s physically impossible to do two things at once, that rule really only applies to tasks that require the same cognitive resources. If you can find ways to combine two tasks that are different enough - like listening to an educational podcast while making your commute, practicing for a presentation while getting your miles in on the treadmill, or brainstorming article ideas while doing the dishes - multitasking can actually serve to your benefit.