Cluttered desks filled with reminders, lunches spent reading over reports, or rushing from one meeting to another are common descriptions of today’s workplace. Technology has made it possible for us to stay connected 24/7 and do multiple things at once. So we keep working as hard as we can on as many things as we can.
Entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable to this stressful workflow pattern because owning a business requires wearing multiple hats. Often, it can feel like a constant juggle where all the balls might come crashing down if we can’t keep up the pace.
Here are a few ways to become more productive and alleviate that stress:
Just because as an entrepreneur you can do multiple things at once doesn’t necessarily mean you should. In fact, studies have shown that doing more than one task at a time actually decreases productivity. It takes longer to do two things simultaneously than it does to accomplish them one at a time. What’s more, your quality of work decreases as well.
Instead, begin your day by creating a list. Start with the most difficult tasks, and work your way down the list one project at a time. This certainly requires more discipline when it comes to time blocking and focus, but the benefits are tremendous.
Not only will you find yourself getting tasks accomplished faster, but you’ll do a better quality job as well!
Take A Break
Entrepreneurs often think that in the flurry of the day there is just no time to slow down. Working hours on end with no break in-between not only does harm to your mental and emotional health, but it actually reduces your efficiency.
When you start to time block and prioritize tasks, accomplishing them one at a time, be sure to take quick breaks throughout the day.
Getting up from your desk, taking a walk, grabbing a coffee, or just stretching for a few minutes can give your body the chance to recover. When you dive into the next task, you’ll be refreshed and ready to work.
Remove the Distractions
Having unnecessary outside stimuli present can undermine your efforts to focus on one task. Put the cell phone away, turn off the television, or close the door to your office to prevent interruptions from coworkers. If it’s not possible to completely disconnect from the internet or your phone, at least silence the notifications so that you’re not tempted to go down the rabbit hole of multitasking.
It may sound strange, but our world is so attention-deficit today that focus actually requires practice. You may find it difficult to focus at first. Since you’re so used to doing multiple things at once, your brain needs help to rewire.
Meditation is a great way to practice this skill. Find a quiet space, sit in a relaxed but attentive posture, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Avoid thinking about your day’s tasks or letting your mind wander to anything other than the awareness of your breathing. Be present.
Try to devote a few minutes during your day to practice meditating. If you can learn to control the flow of your mental energy, you can be a more productive entrepreneur with your time.
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