When people assume different roles, especially for entrepreneurs, tasks will surely be overwhelming. Everything – and I mean everything – demands full attention. But with only 24 hours a day, leaning how to do million tasks on a limited time will be difficult and demands being on top of their game to increase productivity. You’d be guessing multi-tasking is the answer to this issue right? Nope. “The human brain doesn’t really multitask,” says Art Markman, cognitive psychologist and author of Smart Thinking (Perigee, 2012). “What the human brain does is what I call time-sharing.”
Multi-tasking is a common misconception. Humans do not have the ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. A study in the British Medical Journal, for example, found that people talking on cell phones while driving were four times more likely to have car accidents. Research shows that people consistently perform better and faster when tasks are done successively with full attention, rather than all at once.
Juggle your roles and improve your productivity like a pro with these killers:
1. Make a system, not goals.
Making a system develops habit that answers how to be productive. Goals are visions for the future, a state wherein reality meets dreams. Don’t be confused, having goals are good. You’ll know where to go. But having a system on how to achieve is always better. Imagine the feat of writing a 52,000-word book within a year. Overwhelming right? Now, image writing 1,000-word article every Monday. It is the same as your goal – same result – only better because of a system.
2. Visualize your task, use mind maps
When you visualize your tasks, it keeps you mindful of tasks needed to be done. And when you use mind maps, strategic visualization will definitely be better. Cunningham in 2005 conducted a user study in which 80% of the students thought mind-mapping helped them understand and remember concepts and ideas in biology. Seeing your mind-map everyday on your room’s wall will make remembering and even understanding tasks easy, even faster than a snap of your finger.
3. Use the basic tool for productivity!
In this time of advanced technology, a lot of productivity and time-sharing tools are available at everyone’s disposal. Most of them are found in smartphones through apps and other hacks. When technology advances, distractions also clutter us exponentially. Using an old-school small notepad and a pen is more effective that other technology driven productivity tools. One, writing can tell the help brain reinforce what it thinks. Two, no distractions whatsoever – just plain awesome writing. Three, it doesn’t shut down due to battery problems. Lastly, it doesn’t take time to load and sync – your brain only does.
Tasks always have factors of importance and urgency. Tackle “urgent and important” first. “Important and not urgent” tasks second with “unimportant but urgent” tasks last (if you still have time). Totally scrap the “unimportant and not urgent”, most commonly called the “waste-of-time” tasks.
5. Use downtime to reflect
Everyone needs to slow down to fasten productivity. It’s like taking one step backward to make two steps forward. But downtime don’t limit us to just two steps! Using downtime to reflect what needs to be done and assess personal performance for added motivation will the old adage “taking one step backward to make three steps forward.” The mind maps will be handy in these scenarios!
6. Reboot your brain once in a while
There will come a time when tasks are overwhelming and confusing that leads to unproductive times. This is inevitable. Well, we are human after all. When this happens, rebooting your brain will refresh your mindset and motivation as well as your outlook for your future. What is rebooting then? Rebooting means erasing your old mind maps and create better versions, refining your system to accentuate what’s working, throwing off what’s not and using a new note pad (while keeping the old one for memories) and just keeping a day or two offline without any contact whatsoever.