At some point all of us are multitasking without being aware of it. Each day, countless notifications, messages and emails compete for our time and attention. Very often, we attend to these interruptions in our life, I call this “the respond mode”. When you’re in this state of mind, you keep replying and paying attention to every message or notification you receive. Unless you’re working as a customer service executive, this hampers your productivity. Notifications from your friends, colleagues, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Email, the News and countless other notifications try to grab your attention
I have faced this myself. At a time it will feel almost impossible to write an email without being distracted by a text message on WhatsApp. If we respond to notifications throughout the day, we can never focus on our work. Each time our minds get distracted it takes time and energy to switch between a task.
A great number of people will spend their days juggling around with multiple tasks at once. The feeling of having so many obligations with such limited time makes us feel anxious.
For example, imagine you’re writing an important email and a friend sends you a message asking you about a birthday gift for another friend – what would you do? Most of us are going to leave the email and attend to the message as we feel obligated to do so. Now, when we actually return back to writing the email, we actually forget key points that we were wanting to mention.
Now you see? The reason behind this is simple: we humans cannot and should not multitask.
To keep this problem in check, there exists a very simple solution. It will help remove the stress and anxiety during work and make you more productive. Focus on one thing at a time. Do not engage in multitasking. If you’re writing an email, use the full capacity and focus of your mind to complete writing the email. In this way you’ll get it done faster and more efficiently. Then you can go on to respond to your friend’s message.
At some point of time we have all had days when we feel unproductive, a feeling that’s we’ve done done enough. When you feel this, it is most likely you are facing interruptions and that multitasking is draining your energy.
If you’re juggling between multiple things at a time, you engage in a phenomenon known as context switching. If we’re interrupted more than once, before you even know it, this adds up very quickly and you start feeling like you’ve done nothing the entire day. The reason we engage in multitasking is because we’re distracted by notifications, social media, video games, which are by default built to be addictive. We are not in control. The apps are in control, or our mind and our body. It makes us want to look at that notification, it wants us to know – who wants our attention? Each time a notification will pop up, our body releases dopamine and the overall adrenaline rush in our body increases.
While dopamine and an adrenaline rush can be a good thing, it also exhausts you very quickly. That’s the reason you feel
Tired at the end of the day although you haven’t done anything or been productive at all. This is very harmful and this process needs to be terminated at its roots.
So, how do you fix this behaviour?
At first, it’s next to impossible to change your behaviour instantly. To begin with your smartphone is most likely the greatest source of all distractions. So, let’s focus on the phone, here’s a few productivity tips:
- Turn off push notifications: This will diminish the distractions, if you want to eliminate all of the distractions that seek your attention, begun by turning off and muting all notifications.
- Delete Applications or Logout: Deleting applications that distract you a lot or logging out from it for a break is a good thing. Stop, being a slave to social media or any other application. Do not let it control you. Delete it and you will have less things to do on your phone. This will automatically give you a productivity boost.
- Track Time and Tasks: Use an application to keep a track on your productive time. A to-do application for managing your tasks and a calendar for scheduling your day or week ahead.
These tips won’t make you an overnight productivity machine, but they will definitely giving you peace for your mind. Allowing you to focus on what is most important to you: your life.
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