Everyone wants to get more done in the shortest amount of time possible. Unfortunately, multitasking is limited to a small number of tasks. You can’t attend to an urgent phone call while you prepare an equally important report, because both of these tasks require focus. Most people switch between two equally important tasks to get them both done at the same time, but that doesn’t work well either.
Simple strategy gains effective results
Experts recommend that you focus entirely on one task before moving on to the next one. In 1918, a successful businessman and productivity consultant named Ivy Lee introduced a method to increase productivity. In his plans, he asked executives to do this:
- Make a list of six important tasks for tomorrow at the end of each work day.
- Prioritize them based on their importance.
- The next day, focus on the first task on the list.
- Work until the first task is complete before moving on.
- Complete all tasks on the list in the same manner and repeat the process for the next day.
The six important task list strategy might sound simple, but it helps you stay focused, get work done faster and increases the quality of your efforts because you can give that task all of your focus. You don’t have to pay the switching costs your brain incurs, and the result will be more productivity and less stress.