It’s Monday morning – you just sat down at your home or work office – open up your outlook calendar and there are so many different color-coded tasks that need to be done today. You jump right in, handling task after task. Email notifications come in, you open and review, and then another one pings your inbox. You start to feel overwhelmed and it’s only 10am! You think to yourself, “how in the world will I get anything done?!”
I can completely relate to this feeling: having a dozen browsers open on my laptop, checking my Instagram notifications, working on an Excel pivot table, and listening to my grandmother rant on the phone – honestly, how can I really devote 100 percent focus on each of these tasks?!
First step – breathe! It is ok to say no when necessary and know that you do not need to overextend yourself and complete everything that comes your way.
Next: Ask yourself the following questions:
- Where do you spend most of your time?
- The things you do in a day—is it filled with things that matter most to you or is it just “stuff”?
- What’s a time-waster for you?
When it comes to being efficient and effective with your time, Stephen Covey’s time management matrix makes it easy to figure out what you “need” to be doing with your time and attention. In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, habit # of “Put First Things First” helps you to prioritize the most important tasks that align with your goals.
Quadrant I – important deadlines with high urgency
The first quadrant contains tasks and responsibilities that need immediate attention.
Quadrant II – long-term development and strategizing
The second quadrant is for items that are important without requiring immediate action. Covey points out that this quadrant should be used for long-term strategizing.
Quadrant III – distractions with high urgency
The third quadrant is reserved for tasks that are urgent, without being important. Covey recommends minimizing or even eliminating these tasks as they do not contribute to your output. Delegation is also an option here.
Quadrant IV – activities with little to no value
The fourth and last quadrant focuses on tasks and responsibilities that do not yield any value—items that are unimportant and not urgent. These time wasters should be eliminated at any costs
Here Are 8 Ways to Stop Multitasking and Get More Done:
- Use a planner that will help you to prioritize your tasks.
- Do one thing at a time.
- Make a weekly plan—remember to look at the big picture.
- Plan daily—with a weekly plan in place, you can focus on your daily priorities, tasks, and appointments.
- Make a list of your biggest time wasters and commit to focus your time on more important things.
- Keep your workspace clean.
- Turn your phone off.
- Stop being a slave to your inbox – block out time to check your emails or turn off push notifications.
Question: Are you a multitasker or do you prefer to work on things one at a time? Leave a comment below to share how you do less and accomplish more!
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