In the 4th part of the series, learn about single-tasking productivity from focusmanifesto.com.
1. Pick just a few tasks each day. While you might keep a longer master list of things to do, each day you should make a short list — just 1-3 things you really want to accomplish. Call this your Most Important Task (MIT) list. These should be extremely important tasks that will have a high-impact on your life.
2. Don’t do anything else before doing the first thing on your short list of MITs. Don’t check email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, online forums, news sites. Start your day after making your short list by working on your first MIT.
3. Clear distractions. Shut off phones, close the browser if possible, close your IM program if you have one, even disconnect your Internet if you can stand it.
4. One task at a time. Keep things simple, focused and effective by single-tasking. Focus on one task until it’s done, then move to the next.
5. If you feel the urge to check your email or switch to another task, stop yourself. Breathe deeply. Re-focus yourself. Get back to the task at hand.
6. Keep on your MITs until you’re done. Then you have time for email, paperwork, routine tasks, etc. Or if you have the time, pick another set of MITs.
7. If other things come up, note them on a piece of paper or small notebook. These are notes for things to do or follow-up on later, or ideas. Just take a short note, and then get back to your MIT. This way you don’t get sidetracked, but you also don’t forget those things you need to remember later.
8. Take deep breaths, stretch, and take breaks now and then. Enjoy life. Go outside, and appreciate nature. Keep yourself sane.
Keep a very short to-do list, clear distractions, do one thing at a time, until the list is finished. That’s single-tasking productivity at its essence.
For our final thoughts on the subject, join us for Multi-projecting, next.