Focus on being productive instead of busy
When building a business, the end goal can feel overwhelming, so we start to develop a to-do list to tackle it in small steps, but these small steps begin to mount up and before you know it we have 100s of items to action.
All these priorities can be overwhelming; you see a massive pile of tasks that need doing and start to feel overwhelmed again and before you know it those 100 tasks turn into 200 jobs.
Chunking with Todo Lists
What you might have already done is chunking, you’ve taken your business plan and turned into manageable chunks. The only problem is each new piece of information we put into our short term memory mean another chunk gets pushed out.
It’s estimated according to Miller (Miller, G, A (1956) The magical number seven, plus or minus two: limits on our capacity for processing information.) that seven pieces of information are our limit.
It is no wonder that we struggle with big lists and get overwhelmed.
However, there are ways around this feeling of overwhelm
here are a few:
Create Larger Chunks
– with your 100 tasks on your to-do list, look for similarities and start putting them into categories altogether, for instance –
Exercise, walk the dog, buy fruit and veg, meet a friend for coffee can all go into External Life
Upload to social media, make social media content, reply to social media comments, Create marketing strategies adds for facebook again can all go into the Social media category.
Emails – urgent, non-urgent, personal, work again all in one Categorie
Once you have created, chunk categories try to build a schedule, use a calendar app like google calendar and schedule in a daily routine and stick to it.
6 am at the gym,
7am meditation/ gratitude,
7:30 am breakfast,
8 am content producing
1 pm lunch/ dog walk
2 pm- only important emails
3pm client calls/ meetings
7pm-emails, whats app, slack,
8 pm dinner
9 pm reading/ learning
Stop trying to multitasking
Multitasking or as it should be named Switch tasking.
This strategy will increase productivity if you’ve been struggling with overwhelm due to switching tasks, this has been shown to slow down the rate at which one completes tasks.
Each time you switch it takes time to get back into a flow state, its estimated around 40% of our potential productivity is lost due to task switching.
Try apps that let you block time and provide a timer to track your time spent on each task.
Turn off notification while working to avoid interruptions that will throw you off track.
Clear your space
A tidy workspace creates an environment with a lot fewer distractions and will help you focus on the important stuff.
Types of Multi-taskers
So whos more likely to be a task switcher, well according to wrike.com four personality types are most affected
1. Reward orientated people
2.The novelty of new things type people
3. Those who think they can multi-task
4.The easily distracted personality type
However, even if this is you, there’s no reason that you can’t recover most of your lost productivity by chunking your todo list into larger chunks that are a similar type and then schedule these chunks of work into segments on your calendar. Clear your space and your head will follow.
Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest