With the introduction of the internet 20+ years ago we’ve all gotten used to having it in our lives on a daily… actually minute by minute basis. Technology and the internet are a great tool but most of us have seen a dramatic decrease in productivity. This has been leading to increased frustration and depression especially in the younger generations.
Well what can we do to increase productivity? It surely isn’t multi-tasking! Many different publications across the web and health studies have shown the multi-tasking may increase the short term fulfillment but it actually decreases IQ and productivity. Instead we should be working on one task at a time. Like writing this article – I sat for 4 hours multi-tasking between the dogs, the kid and multiple other thoughts going through my mind. Four hours for one short article! Nonsense. While I “felt” like I got a lot accomplished I really got nothing except letting the dogs out to potty and putting the kid down for naptime accomplished. If I had focused on this article for 30 minutes like I finally decided to do I would have finished it in 30 minutes with no distractions. I then could have gone on to accomplish many other tasks one at a time.
So I researched how to increase productivity and it was talking about one task at a time which is so hard for all of us with all of the distractions. One of the best advice I read was keeping a pad of paper next to you and writing down all of your “gotta do now” thoughts in order to accomplish them one at a time later and focus on your current task.
Working on the computer or phone can be the biggest distraction because of all of the sites, pop ups, etc that can go on while you are trying to work. The best way to deter this is to open only the tab, document, program, etc that you are working in. When you think of going somewhere else, use the notepad we talked about earlier and write down the site you wanted to visit, why and continue the task you were working on.
Another great tip is to work for 90 minutes and then take a break of no more than 20 minutes. At the start of your break write down what you accomplished in those 90 minutes so that at the end of the day you can see all of the work and items that you actually accomplished during those 90 minutes. This gives you a visual that you can read at the end of each day and be able to see and be proud of the accomplishments that you have completed.
When you take breaks throughout the day don’t sit at the computer or on the phone instead get up, walk around and do some stretching. Make sure you get the blood flowing through your body again as this helps you feel refreshed rather than stagnant and eventually get that 3pm slump that most people get.
Speaking of a 3pm slump did you know that we are most productive the first half of the day vs the second half? If you have really important projects or deadlines then you should be putting that work first instead of smaller tasks. This way you can finish your deadlines and what not on time.
In the restoration industry specifically project coordinators should work on important tasks first (setting up new jobs with techs and program work) and then move on to their “daily” tasks (monitoring updates, Xactimate diagrams, closing out jobs). This ensures that the customer is put first while also increasing productivity.
I hope that this helps some of you struggling with productivity. If you have further questions or ideas of your own feel free to reach out, comment or share!