How to Multi-task the Right Way and Minimize Productivity Loss

When it comes to managing time and our productivity, we have been taught to believe that there are two kinds of people. The monochronic, those who prefer doing one task at a time, and the polychronic, those who perform several tasks at once with surprisingly umpteenth productivity. But I think that we all multitask a little, with the alternating success of course.

If you can recall, many of us were brought up with the idea that “one thing at a time” means better productivity. This was mostly imposed on us because of that other ubiquitous saying, “jack of all trades, master of none.”

Contrary to these old quotes, many of us multitask on the daily. Ever read something while listening to music with something baking in the oven? Yes, we all multitask, and we’re doing it more and more every day. It is, therefore, possible to be a master of several things, while synchronizing your tasks in harmony actually to be productive. But like most things, this is a learning process.

As I have learned, it takes a lot of conscious planning while multitasking actually to do it well. I call it multi-task-management. If you are aware and don’t lose sight of your entire set-up, things will get done. What is at stake, most importantly, is making your time well spent. Here are some things to keep in mind to harmoniously manage your multitasking:

 

Start without stress

It is often crunch time that makes us fall prey to multitasking. Get rid of this idea! This is the death of productivity. If you start multitasking under stress, there will be loopholes in your level of productivity. What you should do is figure out a good stretch of time, wherein you can allocate several tasks. Once you’ve done so, go ahead and get your priorities right.

 

Use all the technological help you need

Multitasking requires reminders, alarms, calendars, lists, etc. I find it easier managed with some extra help from the apps (my best friend when multitasking) on my smartphone and computer.

 

Take a break

Multitasking takes up a lot of your brain power. Don’t sprint through it. I’ve realized that I’ll take a break from multitasking and meditate for a bit to zone out the excess pressure of productivity. Some breathing exercises to freshen you up, a scoop of ice-cream, whatever to get you relaxed before the marathon.

 

Keep your priorities in mind

Again, technology will help you with this in its ability to set lists and reminders. I find that if I figure out what needs to be done with more effort, I do that first. It is important not to forget your list of immediate to-do’s, while also keeping in sight the tasks that can be done later and easily.

 

Switch it up

In the long run, you need to remember that you should not multitask all the time. Productivity is best played with versatility. That way your productivity doesn’t go stale. Once, in a while recharge your productivity-stress ratio by doing single task activities. Feeling like burning out from multitasking all the time is common.

 


 

5 Definite Ways to Improve Your Work Ethic

I’m someone who has a hard time sticking to my plans. In my case, it’s difficult to motivate myself to fit that daily jog in or make time every week to read a book. Many of us are just exhausted by the time we finish our jobs. People sometimes have a tendency to become dull and complacent if left uninspired both at work and at home.
Just consider that Facebook and Angry Birds alone cost us $46 billion per year in valuable workplace productivity. Therefore, having a good work ethic means, above all else, not getting distracted in this day and age. It means making use of your time strategically and efficiently.
However, over the years I’ve learned some things.

1. Make Sure to Be On Time

Someone with a strong work ethic is meticulously punctual. This means arriving to work, meeting your life arrangements, and fulfilling deadlines on time. I began in small steps such as creating a plan for my schedule the previous day and then making sure to stick to schedule promptly.

2. Get In The Rhythm of “Now”

Sending out that e-mail now instead of later can make the difference between a poor impression and one that could elevate your career.
Having small urges to act now are controllable and a good way to improve work ethic immediately. Elaborating on the points discussed shortly after a meeting while it’s still fresh in the mind is good example of how one can fight complacency. Putting things for later, when you know full well you will put it off until last minute, is always a losing strategy. Just do it now.

3. Cut Down on Distractions

Cutting down on distractions does not mean that you should never enjoy leisure time or have fun. However, it does mean that when there are tasks to be done that you do them without multitasking. Instead, focus on one thing at once. Multitasking has been proven to lower productivity. So considering turning off your social media when you’re busy and limit yourself from checking it until after you’re done.

4. Have a To-Do List

This one might be obvious. Everyone likes to write lists, but it’s good to make a habit of it. It’s surprising how clear your thought process can be when having everything on paper.
I have never met anyone with great work ethic that was not organized in their tasks. People who are organized put aside that extra 5 minutes out of their day to make a list of what they need to do.

5. Make Room for Yourself

Feeling burnt out all the time is a definite sign of poor work ethic. A balance life needs to always involve some vice and leisure –so take time for yourself when you have to, pursue a hobby, or spend time with friends. Improving your work ethic should never be a self-defeating activity.
I’ve often heard that it takes three or four weeks for a new habit to form when introduced. Perhaps consider making your new hobby improving your work ethic, and make sure to make it a habit.

Wear That Three-Piece Suit to the Business Meeting

We’ve all seen the three-piece suit look. It’s an age-old classic and one that needs to be done right. It’s made up of a suit, trousers, and waistcoat for a matching look that makes one walk with stride. Some people even like rocking a waistcoat of a different color to allow for a more refined contrast with the suit and trousers. In short, wearing a three-piece suit is a smart look when done right.

 

However, a three-piece suit is not an ensemble you just put on whenever you like. It requires assessing whether it’s appropriate or you’ll end up being overdressed. Back a few decades ago, this might not have been the case. I remember my mother telling me one can never be overdressed, yet, in this day and age, this is no longer the case. It seems like people don’t even know what business casual is anymore.

 

Times have changed, but I’m not complaining. It just means that the three-piece suit stands out more. And, if done right, means it can look quite right in this day and age. After all, the three-piece suit creates an unbroken stretch of fabric from your ankles to your shoulders. It’s supposed to accentuate your body and give you that balanced appearance.

 

When to Wear?

That is the question, but it does not need a complicated answer. If you’re comfortable with yourself and are confident, a three-piece suit can give off an extra level of style that will enhance your social presence when you need it.

• DO wear it when you’re giving a business presentation. If you’re presenting anything in a business environment, you want to look your sharpest.
• DO wear it to a wedding. You always have to look your best for a wedding, especially if you’re invited to the groom’s party. And there’s nothing quite like enjoying yourself wearing your best look.
• DO wear it to the office. If you want to look calm and collected in the workplace, you can always rock a three-piece suit with a dress shirt and tie. Frankly, no one gets mistaken for a lower-tier intern when wearing a three-piece suit: so dress the part you play in your business.
• DON’T go to your job interview in a three-piece suit. It will likely come off as far too intimidating. You’re trying to get hired, not intimidate management. Moving up the company latter is when you bring out the three-piece suit, not when you just get there.

 

I would say that a suit compliments any vital position within a business, and is a must-have for any smart-minded businessperson.

 

Just remember: You make the suit, the suit doesn’t make you. Make sure you can fit in such a style in confidence. Your outfit should compliment your character, and when done right can elude confidence and make you an effective business leader.

 


 

How to Build an Email List for Your Business from Scratch

One of the fundamental pillars of any business’s social presence is its email list.

It is often difficult for an up-and-coming business to form an email list early. Some companies instead opt for the more straightforward, and arguably much less effective way, of buying email lists. Right off the bat, let me tell you that if you use this method, you’ll inevitably fail as a business. Instead, there’s only one way to grow your businesses successfully, and that is organically. This means building your email list from the ground up. If people are voluntarily signing up for your email list, that means that your consumer base will have a high response rate to any information or product you put out.

 

How Does One Start?

It’s time to look at your business objectively and consider two fundamental questions:

1. What can your business offer online that others don’t?
2. What is the unique value proposition of signing up to your email list?

 

As a business, you’re looking to provide something valuable but is also easily accessible. For example, perhaps signing up for your business’s newsletter ensures a free e-book download? – Or a product demonstration? Or a free trial? The lead for your email list is crucial to bringing in new followers and traffic. Without an enticing lead that gives individuals a legitimate reason to sign-up, you will never garner enough traffic for an email list to be worthwhile.

 

Treat Value as the Foundation

By providing a value for sign-ups, you can then spread the word about your email list via social media channels. If your lead is eye-catching and worthwhile, you’ll get clicks. It’s most important to put yourself in the reader’s shoes: what would make me want to sign up for this business’s email? For example, I’d sign up for a newsletter if it meant I would receive a free trial. And I would be a more active follower of the business if I, on top of receiving my sample, I liked it.

 

So What’s This All Mean for Your Business?

Your email list consists of your most dedicated consumers. They were the ones that opted to explicitly sign up for your emails, anyway. So of course, treat them: make it worthwhile for those who sign up to your email list.

And most importantly, make sure whatever value you offer in your emails matches with your business’s product. Your email list should serve as a means to not only communicate with your consumer base but also inform them of any new developments within the business.

Think of your email list as complimentary to your products but also the fundamental ingredient to giving your business the visibility it deserves.

 


 

5 Tips for Being an Effective Communicator

Effective communication is fundamental to both one’s personal and professional life. I would know – I first started exploring effective communication when I was turned down after my first job interview. At first, I was angry, but after some thought, I came to the conclusion that my approach was flat-out wrong. I was too argumentative and never seemed to listen. Instead, I was often waiting to talk again. This ended up working disastrously for me during my job interviews. I thought I was beaming with confidence, but I just ended up appearing utterly inconsiderate.

 

So, let’s talk about what are the five most important aspects of effective communication.

 

1. Be a good listener. This may sound intuitive, but it needs to be said. Nobody wants to talk to someone who’s not paying attention. And nobody especially wants to talk to someone who’s talking past them. Most of communication is actually not verbal. Instead, it’s also about mutual respect, body language, and listening.

 

2. Always be conscious of your body language. People oftentimes aren’t aware of the impression they give to other person. If you’re sitting with your arms crossed and your legs away from the person you’re speaking to, they’ll probably think you don’t care about what they have to say. Instead, be affirmative – regulate your body language so that you seem inviting, rather than disinterested. You’d be surprised at how many people overlook this basic fact.

3. Add to the conversation. Don’t deviate from what the other person is saying. This brings us back to the first tip: listen and then add to the conversation. Think of a conversation like building blocks, where you’re building off of what the other person is saying.

4. Don’t be immediately defensive. Maintaining a balance in your tone and demeanor when met with controversy will make you more likely to change minds. Think before you speak! – or else, you’ll be met with anger and will never get what you really want.

5. Never interrupt. I don’t care how desperately you want to say your two cents before the other person finishes. Interrupting not only makes the other person feel lesser than, but it’s a sure way to create unnecessary antagonism.

 

All in all, be considerate. Some of these tips might come as no surprise to you – but how many of us remind ourselves to follow these tips during an actual conversation? A talented communicator does not think of what to say after but is in tune with the conversation during. And that’s the key to being a stellar communicator.

 

So remind yourself of these tips next time you have a meaningful conversation. It might save you from jumbling up your words in embarrassment.