Although Iâ€™d like to live a simple and uncomplicated life, I have accepted the fact that modern day life is increasingly complex and involves donning many different hats at the same time.
This is a post about a few ways in which I try to get more done and multi task efficiently.
1. Eliminate distractions: Everyone knows that you should stay away from email and Twitter if you are working, but there are plenty of innocuous little things that are subtle distractions. In my case, search terms in my Google taskbar in the browser are a distraction when I write. I need the browser to search and look for information, so I canâ€™t really close it, but before beginning to write â€“ I clear out anything from the Google bar that I had previously searched for.If I donâ€™t do that, then at some point, I would just go off searching for that term, and break concentration. Identifying such subtle distractions helps you stay focused.Â
2. Plan meticulously: Spending a few minutes every morning thinking of what needs to be done, and then spending a few minutes after lunch helps me greatly in getting things done.
3. Prepare lists: If I donâ€™t have a ready list or reference of what needs to be done, I float from one thing to the other and in the end nothing gets done. I donâ€™t use lists a lot, but when I use them â€“ I see that I get a lot more done. It is a habit that I am cultivating.
4. Have mini goals: I have certain mini goals for each day, half day and weekends. These mini goals supplement my plans and lists, keep me focused, and generally help a great deal. For example, one of my goals is to finish the book I am reading within the next ten days. With that in mind, a mini goal is to put in at least 20 minutes of reading before going to bed every night. It is very doable and just stating that goal, helps in getting that done immensely.
5. Make commitments: This works for me but may not work for everyone, I commit to people before actually getting something done. This puts pressure on me to finish that task and I almost always get it done. This may not work for everyone, and you could end up with broken promises if it doesnâ€™t turn out well for you. In my case I have noticed that losing face is a strong motivator in getting things done.
6. You donâ€™t have to do everything: I have never read more than one book at a time. More than anything else, I read for entertainment, and normally I donâ€™t feel the need to read more than one book at a time for that. It usually means that I have to finish one before moving to another, but it is worth it. There is no point of adding complication when there is nothing to be gained from it. Ultimately doing things concurrently lowers efficiency somewhat, so I try to avoid multi tasking wherever possible.
These were some simple things that help me getting focused and get more done out of less. Most of them are really obvious and all of them are worth giving a try. If they donâ€™t help you, you can always go back to the old ways, so there is not much to lose.
But getting more done with less time is a challenge that all of us face, and we should actively look for ways that help us in accomplishing this.
Photo Credit: Stuck in customs