We live in a digital and ever evolving world. We are the ADD generation. Switching between texting, TV shows, and surfing the web. Multi-tasking is our lives, it is how we have been raised to live and behave. But is this multi-tasking actually good for us?
Short Answer: NO! Long Answer: Also NO
Why Multi-Tasking is Bad for YOU
Multi-tasking is horrendous for productivity. According to the Harvard Business Review, multi-tasking lowers your IQ by 10 points and productivity by approximately 40%. This is a massively destructive loss in efficiency which is vital for time crunched, bootstrapped entrepreneurs. But what do these numbers really mean? Well if it takes you 2 hours to write a world class quality piece of epic content for your startup’s blog and you were multi-tasking while doing it, you could have accomplished this same task in approximately 72 minutes if you had been completely free of distractions. What would you have done productively with those extra 48 minutes? But wait, that is not even the worst part.
Your IQ was lowered by about 10 points during this entire time. For the case of this we will just assume you are all about average, even though I would tend to believe entrepreneurial people are above average intelligence.
By losing ten points, or approximately ten percent of your mental capacity while trying to accomplish your task the quality of your creation will typically be about ten percent worst than your best effort. That is the difference between receiving an A+ and a standing ovation from your audience and merely an acceptable B+.
And that is starting at the high end of the spectrum. If you are an atrocious writer like myself you cannot afford to reduce the quality of your work. It is bad enough as it is without artificially worsening your skills.
5 Productivity Strategies Entrepreneurs Can Use
By now I should hopefully have your attention. If not thing about…Texting and Driving…ENOUGH SAID! So how do we remedy this atrocious situation? Here are five of the top tips I employ to keep the quality and productivity of my work and writing as close to my best as possible.
1) Close ALL Social Media Sites
Social media sites are almost exclusively a waste of time and energy.
For the busy entrepreneur looking to squeeze every last minute out of their overbooked day the last thing they need are repeated Facebook distractions or the tremendous time killer which is Twitter. While these platforms certainly have their place in reaching your target audience or customer and marketing your brand they can kill even the most creative of minds well before you have accomplish your goals for the day.
2) Close Email
Email works in much the same way as the dreaded social media sites above. The issue with email specifically is that it feels productive. By answering emails you are crossing crucial steps off the perennial to do list. Unfortunately this is not the time nor the place to focus on these important correspondences.
The fact they these draining and distracting messages feel fulfilling for your business goals make it even more harmful to your overall attempts to create.
3) Close ALL other Tabs you will be Tempted to Click
WordPress has a useful full screen writing feature for those of us who get easily distracted by the annoyances of the other aspects of our sites. Unfortunately the powerful tool is unable to hide the tempting tabs we constantly have open. While having my Zopim free live chat window open for my eCommerce store in case a customer has a question may seem like an excellent idea it depends upon your priorities.
If you customers are prone to problems and liable to ask you numerous questions while you attempt to create killer content this may be a flawed approach.
4) Find Somewhere Quiet to Work
There is nothing worse than getting your groove on rocking out a business email or blog post when you suddenly overhear others in your area crack a joke or god help it ask you a question. Merely working in the presence of other makes it difficult for many of us, myself included to truly concentrate upon the task at hand.
Finding a peaceful place to do your best work may be the ideal strategy.
Of all the strategies listed here for helping improve your creativity and productivity I feel this is easily the most important and powerful. Music allows you to enter an unimpeded zone and creates a sound barrier blocking you from your chaotic surroundings. Personally however I cannot listen to just any music while trying to work as the lyrics are highly distracting and harm my focus. I advise any of you who have never tried to check out the amazing powers of classical music.
Simply start up a Youtube video of the greatest works of the masters and prepare for the most powerfully productive work of your life. If this doesn’t fulfill your fancy you may try merely leaving your headphones in your ears. This partially blocks out the annoying and irritating sounds around you.
The other unintended consequence of headphones is that it shows others you are busy and mean business and makes them much less likely to disturb you.
Do You Agree ? Please share what do you think about multi-tasking!