Workday kills productivity
For me, the lowest productivity that I have relating to any activity is during the working day.
The sheer pressure of constantly getting messages, emails and calls is something that makes me work at least 10 times worse than I do either before work or in the morning or the work that I do after the working day has finished.
That is not to say that the notifications take my focus away and interrupt what I do. No, that is not the case as I have every single notification that is possible muted, except phone calls which happen on occasion.
The thing that takes me out of any sort of flow that I could be in is multitasking and being forced into solving other's problems.
But during the workday, the biggest reason why I am performing worse, than at other times is due to the sheer pressure of being forced into being present and ready to reply to every little message that I get.
People message me constantly on many sorts of basis, and I have a need and responsibilities to answer their questions.
Let me tell you the truth. You are not required to answer their questions. If it is a message, it means that it is not urgent and you can answer it whenever you feel like it. Don’t go out of your way to check if anyone has written you anything. Do you work and once you are finished, you can bother with the messages.
If the problem or the task is urgent enough, they will not send an email or a message. They will call you.
How to stop multitasking
One of the things that make sure that we work at 10% of our potential is our constant multitasking and switching from one task to another.
Multitasking has been proven to be a lie. Your brain is unable to do two things at once, what it does it constantly switches focus from one thing and onto another. As you might have guessed, that means that you are not able to do well either of the tasks.
Also, it has been shown that in order to get focused on the task and start working at a good rate, it can take from 17 to 25 minutes. If you are switching from task to task every 5 minutes, you will take at least 3 times as long to do the task as you will constantly be readjusting and refocusing on the different points.
What your priority should be is to sit down and do focused work for an hour, then in an hour take a break in which you can answer all of the messages and emails, stretch and carry on for another hour.
It has been shown that the biggest boost to productivity is when we reach the flow state. The work seems to be easy, and you finish the task in 10th of time you thought you would need.
The secret is that multitasking doesn’t allow you to enter this flow state. Flow state is elusive as it is, but when you practice bad habits of multitasking and being ready to get a new message from someone, you are making it even harder to boost your productivity.
Set some rules
If you have a colleague or a boss that constantly interrupts you, you have to be completely honest with them. Tell them what exactly it is that they are doing that is interrupting them and also tell them why that is not helping anyone.
If you are getting 20 useless messages from someone, let them know that it is not okay to be like that.
If news alert notifications are bombarding you, unsubscribe or turn off the notifications. The world can flip upside down, but your work still needs to be done.
The most important thing is to experiment. You are in control of what you do and how you do. Practice and see what works best for you and your circumstances.
Start now. Get perfect later.