How to get 40% more work done in the same amount of time
You can watch the video, or read the post below.
If you know me, you know I’m a little bit of a fact nerd – I like data and science, so when I talk about productivity, I like to look at studies first and understand how our brains work to try and hack that. Something that comes up in studies, again and again, is multitasking. The data shows that only around 2% of people can effectively multitask. The problem with it is not so much doing several tasks at once, but task switching – going from one task to another and another. That’s where your productivity starts to seriously decrease. The American Psychology Association did a study proving that task switching causes 40% decrease in productivity. That’s A LOT! There’s also another study by the University of California that says it takes 25 minutes on average to return to the original task after an interruption. This means that every time you stop your current task to do something else – even if it’s just for a minute! – you’re going to need 25 minutes on average to get your full focus back on the task.
What actually happens
Is this you? How often do you think you’re task switching? Knowing what happens and where you are can help you fix it. We’re not going to be perfect, but if you can try and stay more focused you’re going to save a lot of time and get more done in the same amount of time. So, what can cause you to lose focus? It can be keeping 4 tabs open and switching between Facebook, your Etsy store, email etc. The other thing is interruptions and distractions – it can be a family member coming to you to ask something, phone giving you notifications that you’re “just checking really quickly” and ending up on Instagram for 5 minutes, email notifications or any other distractions. It all sounds normal and that’s how the work is set up nowadays, but sadly if you don’t control it, it can eat up a lot of your time.
How to fix it
One thing I recommend is to schedule one big block of time once a week. It’s going to be your ‘nothing else matters’ zone when you lock yourself so no one can come in and interrupt you, your phone is on silent mode and nothing is coming between you and work. This time block should be at least two hours, but if you can, it’s better if it’s more like 4 – 5 hours at a time. The reason for that is because you should try and batch your activities as much as you can, for example, one day for social media, one day for photography etc. That way you don’t lose your 25 minutes (on average) switching from a little bit of social media to photography, and then another 25 minutes switching back from photography back to social media. That’s 50 minutes total that could be spent differently. It really adds up pretty quickly. I used to switch tasks all the time and when I’ve changed my routine and started doing day themes… I can’t even explain how much productive I feel! It’s not perfect, of course, I still have meetings and things come up but I can’t recommend you this method enough!
I’ve been working on something to help you achieve your goals. As I wrote before, I’ve been talking with a lot of you about building a successful business and a successful handmade shop. There seem to be two main problems that come up time and time again:
1) Overwhelm. Something like: ‘I don’t know what to focus on. There’s too much information online! I feel like I have to do Instagram and the next day I want to be on Pinterest, and what about email marketing? Oh, and the product photography! I’d like to know what should I focus on now and what should be next on my list to get the results I want.”
2) Time management and productivity issues: even if you know what to do, it’s hard to fit it in your busy life.
That is why I’ve created The Maker’s Success Roadmap. It’s a complete framework – training videos and a printed, physical planner (which I’m super excited about!) – that helps you to make decisions on what to do next but also fit it into your calendar. The planner is there for you to have this physical thing that you can carry with you in your purse or keep on your desk, and the videos go more in-depth into strategies and tactics that you can implement so you can achieve your goals. You can learn more right here:
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