Multi-tasking has become a passé when it comes to finishing more tasks. An article for the Harvard Business Review has noted down its disadvantage. Multi-tasking makes you less competent in your work, more distracted and less productive.
There are other ways of accomplishing more tasks that doesn’t entail you losing focus and even losing precious time with your family and friends. Here are a few tips:
Decide on what not to do.
People usually start with a to-do lists to start their day. But that is not usually followed as there will be distractions that are beyond our control. Ignoring unnecessary or less urgent tasks is equally important as prioritising and focusing on what matters. Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerbeg and man of the hour, Elon Musk, all adhere to this principle. They only give precious time for tasks meant to accomplish one specific goal.
Grit: The Secret Ingredient to Success
What is Grit? According to Psychologist Angela Duckworth in a Ted Talk video – “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Duckworth has been studying this fascinating trait for more than a decade now and has tons of research that shows grit being the best predictor or success.
Grit then it seems, is more important than talent and intelligence. The consistency of striving for your goal and pushing through no matter what matters the most than being a genius.
In case you’re wondering if you have “True Grit”, here are characteristics to see how you measure up to it:
Routines make our life easier. If you had to think hard doing the most mundane of things like brushing our teeth or putting on slippers, our brains will be on overload and our willpower will tire out easily.
Automation of behavior saves us brain and will power. Habits are powerful as it helps us streamline mundane decisions, saving our mental capacity and energy for more complicated ones.
Forming new habits and leaving behind old ones can be quite a pickle. If it was that easy, then everyone will follow through with their New Year’s resolutions. Tricky as it maybe, it can be done. You just need to understand first the basics behind the science of habit-forming.
Building a habit has a process which the scientists call the “habit loop.” It has 3 parts; a cue, a routine and a reward. Say for example, using toothpaste. Nobody used it about a hundred years ago. But a certain guy named Claude Hopkins introduced its concept via the habit loop.
Success doesn’t come overnight to most people. It takes years of hard work, talent, sometimes connections and luck to get where you want to be. But most importantly, it takes a productive set of habits to slowly but surely reach your goal and become a winner in your field.
Here are some of the productive habits of successful people that you might want to emulate in your life:
1. Get up early
Most CEOs and people of high positions all attest to getting up and starting early. Not only because you can do more but because our brains are sharpest two and a half to four hours after waking. So start that habit of getting ahead by rising early.
2. Have a plan.
“What good shall I do today?” Asking yourself this question keeps you focus on your life goals or even the shorter ones and makes you feel more accomplished by the end of the day.
- You can create tasks right on Daily Notes. Schedule them as a one-time or recurring task if you prefer and check off your accomplishments by the end of the day –
There would some point in one’s life where you will become a parent/ employee/ boss/ caregiver/ teacher/ accountant/ marketer and more, all at the same time. You have to deal with all these tasks and responsibilities all at once and it will become a struggle when you can’t balance the different areas of your life.
This is where compartmentalisation comes handy. It’s a “divide and conquer” process that allows us to wear multiple hats in a day to tackle and finish different responsibilities and tasks.
Compartmentatlization involves the following steps:
- Categorizing the different aspects of your life.
- List down all the tasks involved in every aspect.
- Set a time limit to focus on one aspect.
- Finish tasks in small, regular steps.
- Once you see some progress, move to the next aspect.
Organize the different aspects of your life. Home, work, hobbies, parents, redecoration, think of the different parts of your life that you tackle regularly. Create a tab for each in Daily Notes and label them accordingly, eg. blue tab for WORK, green tab for PERSONAL, purple tab for PERSONAL, etc.