Today, some simple and important ideas for raising your productivity, starting immediately.
1. Stop. Multi. Tasking. Seriously. It is an illusion if you think you can do it without hampering the effectiveness of either task. Want proof? When you are driving in heavy traffic, reduced visibility, or when you aren’t sure where you are going, what do you do? Turn off the radio. Our minds know instinctively when the task is most important to shut down everything else. Listen to your brain. One task to completion, then the next.
2. Destroy distractions. You know what distracts you. So remove the distraction. Unplug. Close the door. Turn off the TV. Whatever the distractions are, they are the enemy of your productivity.
3. Work in time blocks. Our body clock, our attention span, and our biology all say focus for 60-90 minutes, then shift. Stand up and walk around. Do something completely different (e.g. if you have been working on a project, now make some phone calls). Have a snack. Do something different! Incorporating this approach into your work will make you more productive and less stressed and frustrated.
4. Schedule email time. Ever been away from the office for part or all of a day, without email access? Have you noticed that when you do it all at once you get it done faster? “You’ve Got Mail” may have been a cute movie, but if you are serious about your productivity, turn off any email notification tool and turn on your discipline to work on email at predefined times during your day.
5. Pick up the phone. You remember, that was the original use for your smartphone before it became a camera/web browser/email client/game device. Email isn’t good at conversation. If you are about to reply to an email for a third time, stop. Pick up the phone. The issue will be solved quicker, and relationships can be built at the same time.
By the way, you are thinking about this list inaccurately if you think it contains nothing new.
The question isn’t whether it is new, the accurate question with these items is what are you going to do?