Trick Your Brain Into Being More Productive
Be honest: how often are you focused on only one thing?
Is it more likely that you could be found texting and chatting online while trying to complete a more important task? Do you reply to emails that can wait or clean out your desk drawers rather than tackle the work you should be completing?
If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. Many of us find it difficult to focus on one thing at a time or complete tasks on our to-do list without getting distracted. But what if there was a way to ignore the urge to check our email or watch a Youtube video while working, and cross off things on our to-do list without procrastinating? Time management is an extremely important part of ‘doing more’: eliminating distractions, defeating procrastination, and completing tasks efficiently can lead to an incredibly productive and successful life (not to mention less stressful).
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Our brain often works against us when we’re trying to complete a big task that requires a lot of concentration and attention. Our brain seeks rewards, which completing small, insignificant tasks like responding to an email or sending a text, can give it.
So what can we do to stop ourselves from being so easily distracted and make the most of our time?
A How-To article by CNET suggests the following three steps for being more productive:
1. Use to-do lists the right way – Have one book/app that serves as your to-do list rather than a bunch of post-it notes that are easily lost/ignored. Break larger tasks down into smaller sub-tasks to keep to-do items specific.
2. Time yourself – Track how long it takes to complete a task. You are less likely to spend 2 hours on Facebook while working if the clock is ticking. This will also allow you to judge how efficiently you are using your time and get better at doing so.
3. Tune out – Having specific music (preferably classical or something without lyrics) or white noise (think those cd’s with rainforest or storm sounds) that you listen to while completing tasks can trigger your brain into recognizing when it’s time to work. It can also tune out noises that may be distracting.
What are your tricks for staying focused, eliminating distractions, being productive and managing your time effectively? Leave us a comment!