Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Multitasking, Schmultitasking: Improving Your Productivity

I recently sat in on a teleforum by Design Coach On Call discussing how creative professionals can improve their productivity. Holla! As a micro-business owner who balances just about every part of running her business, I can say first hand that it can be overwhelming at times! I'm constantly looking for better ways to discipline myself to be more productive. Pam Bryan, the forum facilitator, had some great tips and advice. Here are my favorites, all of which I hope to start implementing within the next few weeks (seriously, can someone hold me to this?)

1. Multitasking is Worse Than a Lie: To sum it up, multitasking, or more appropriately called "switch-tasking" just isn't productive. Switching from one task to the next, back and forth, and so on can cause you to loose up to 28% of your time. So, try to discipline yourself to make changes in your work day that will deter you from switch-tasking as much as possible.

2. Gather Your Gathering Places: A "Gathering Place" is any place where unprocessed work items go. This can include your desk, your briefcase, your office, even your car…any and every place where you might do work. The key is to consolidate all gathering places so that you only have one physical "inbox". Then, set a time each week or day to sort through this inbox, usually 30-60 minutes. Obviously, sort through the more pressing items first…this way you won't be stressing about them throughout the day, so you're able to focus on other tasks throughout the day.

3. Conquer Your Digital Space: These days, your digital space can be a real time sucker throughout the day! Digital Space includes your email, social media accounts, voicemails, etc. Similar to your "Gathering Places", try to consolidate your digital space as well. For instance, direct all your emails (personal and business) to one account. You'll still have the separate accounts, but you'll only have to check one master email account, thus saving you time logging on and sorting through various accounts. In addition, Pam recommends turning off your email alarms and setting yourself a schedule. Check your email 2-3 days per day, answering all inquiries during your set timeframe. Use this time to check your social media accounts like facebook and twitter as well.

OK, so these are a few of the changes I'll be making here at Kalico World Headquarters in order to increase my productivity throughout the day. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. What changes would you like to make? Let me know!


BoudoirAffaireLounge said...

Love these ideas...multi-tasking makes me multi-crazy and I never seem to get the amount of work completed that I'd like to. I've also justb set up an area to gather all my in-process projects to keep me centered and on-task. Thanks for posting this!

Shannon said...

When you work for someone else, the schedule or structure is set out for you. When you work for yourself, the freedom can be a little daunting. I've tried the scheduled email approach and when I do it- it's amazing! I slip a lot though. I just started so like anything else, I think I just need to practice.

Thanks for the tips!