Tip #4: Focus, focus, focus

May 1 2016

Ms. Bond's fourth tip for 2016: Focus, focus, focus


Word on the street these days is that multitasking is bad for us.


"Research conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The researchers also found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.


The Stanford researchers compared groups of people based on their tendency to multitask and their belief that it helps their performance. They found that heavy multitaskers—those who multitask a lot and feel that it boosts their performance—were actually worse at multitasking than those who like to do a single thing at a time. The frequent multitaskers performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another. Ouch.


Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully."


So, how can I still get all of these things done?


You need to organize your time into highly focused chunks.


One thing I have started doing is creating designated times during the day when I check email/communicate with clients. And (the more difficult part...) not check email outside of those times. When I am home in the evening, my phone is typically across the room so I am not tempted to MINDLESSLY check email or flick through Facebook. If we are watching a movie or a show together, then that's what we are doing. My personal business gets it's special time, and my family gets theirs.


Power Hour is another method I have been using to great success. I give myself one hour to focus singularly on a task (writing blog posts, researching something, cleaning the house, etc.) I set a timer, put on some appropriate music, and GO. And then it's done and I have accomplished a huge amount. You can also divide your time into smaller chunks (15 minutes is common) to accomplish smaller tasks. The idea is that each chunk of time is dedicated to ONE thing and one thing only.


These methods have actually helped me achieve MORE. And a happy benefit has been that I am, generally, more relaxed in the process.


© 2016 Katherine Ferranti LMT

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