Everyone's talking about how to be more productive these days—we're all working overtime to keep up with the speed of this modern world. But there are several traditional business practices that don't fit today's modern world. Smash that together with the constant barrages from the technological world—emails coming in, dinging reminders on your phone, instant messages, text messages, tweets, phone calls—and you have a productivity train wreck.
How can you salvage your modern workweek from the modern world? Here's how.
Basically, everyone tends to agree: meetings can be a waste of time. Meetings should be a time of communicating and working through problems together, but too often they become time-sucks that don't help anyone get work done. If you're calling meetings, consider sending an email instead and asking for input that way.
Ding, ring, beep beep. Your phone or computer is probably making noise all day, demanding your attention. The fact is, research shows that we're more productive when we focus on one task at a time (see #3). These messages may be important, but when they're constantly distracting you, your overall productivity goes down. Experts suggest scheduling emailing and messaging time two or three times in your day, and ignoring the constant dings between.
Everyone is trying to multitask these days. But multitasking actually works, according to most studies. Researchers say a more descriptive term would be "task-switching," since our brains can't do more than one task at a time. When you switch between tasks too often, your productivity falls by as much as 40%.
Windowless office? Not a plant in sight? Flickering lightbulbs? If this describes your workspace, it's time to revamp. Your work environment can have a significant impact on your productivity—and even your health. If you can't let in natural light, make sure your space is well-lit artificially, and introduce a few indoor plants.
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