For us men, multitasking is a joke. It’s our way to assuring ourselves that we are doing a lot of things but we’re actually just wasting our time. I’m sure the idea of finishing that proposal while watching the last episode of Shameless sounds great, or returning emails while on a date with your Blackberry sounds efficient but it’s not. You’ll do a shitty job at it, and a slap in the face from your girlfriend.
Instead of multitasking, try focusing on one item at a time and finishing it quickly. In my experience, I get things done a lot faster with that method. I usually break a big task into smaller 45 minutes (max) tasks and resting 15 minutes for every task. Currently using Wunderlist to list and and cross the tasks one at a time. Crossing one little task gives a feeling of achievement and the motivation to finish another task. For example instead of naming the task: Redesign my blog, try to break it into little pieces like: make the design in PSD, generate the HTML, generate the wordpress theme, apply google analytics, etc. Another good thing about Wunderlist is that you can easily see what tasks you’re suppose to do today and focus only on that. Owh and did I say it sync to all your devices (Mac, Windows, iOS, Andriod, Symbian, Windows Phone and even Blackberry)? Definitely a recommended To Do app.
For writing tasks, a fullscreen editor like WriteRoom or iA Writer helps a lot in focusing. For project proposals, definitely iWork Pages in fullscreen mode. I still uses multiple windows for web development instead of the all-in-one editors because it’s a working habit and for me it’s simpler that way, but for everyone else it’s preferential. I close everything else, so no twitter, tumblr, facebook, even downloads (I use a different machine to download) so I can focus only at the tasks at hand.
So in short, this is what I do to be more efficient
- Focus on what you should be doing today
- Break big tasks into smaller tasks
- List all of them and cross them when done to give the feeling of achievement
- Focus on the task for 45 minutes
- Rest for 15 minutes
- Rinse and repeat
That works like a charm for me. Tell me how it works in the comments section if you guys decided to do it.