It may sound counterintuitive, but you can often find more time in your day to get things done by doing less. Multitasking may seem to be the best way to get through your to-do list, but it can sabotage your efforts. Researchers from the University of Michigan have found that when people multitask, they are diminishing their brain productivity by 20 to 40 percent. This occurs because your brain needs to spend some of its computing power on the switching process itself. Refocusing from one task to another decreases the brain’s efficiency.
To combat this, try to establish some new habits for your workflow. Instead of checking email every few minutes, only check it every couple of hours. This lets you focus on answering emails all at once. You can also use a timer when working on an important task. Using a timer helps you regulate how much time you need to spend on a single task. While the timer is going, you should not work on any other project in order to devote enough concentrated time to the task at hand.
Finally, use a to-do list, but with a twist. Instead of simply making a list of things you need to get done, use it to write down things that are distracting you. By placing them on the list, you can give yourself permission to come back to it at a later time, instead of switching away from the job you are doing right now.
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