Task jumping steals 40% of your productivity

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Forty percent of our productivity is lost on a daily basis.


Personal Productivity Author & Speaker Lauren Midgley

How does that happen? It happens because we're jumping from task to task all day long. You could call it mind jumping, you could call it task juggling but here is how it happens. It happens where we have our email open, we have our to-do list, we have our calendar, we have our text, we're looking at the files on our desk, someone stops by our office.

We end up with a lot of tasks that impact us on a day to day basis.

Where does that take us? It takes us to mental fatigue.

Have you ever been in that situation at the end of the day you hadn't really done much except be at your desk all day working but you are so mentally fatigued when you left at the end of the day. It happens.

How do we make that be a little bit different in terms of going in in the morning looking at our calendar, looking at our to-do list, looking at those files and figuring out how it can be a little bit different because here's what happens now.

At eight o'clock you get there, you open up the calendar, you open up your to-do list, you look at the files and you begin thinking exactly what is it that I need to do today? What do I need to accomplish? How am I going to be productive?

At about that point in time you see an email come dinging through on your outlook and it's of interest to you. Has nothing to do with work. Now it's about 8:05 and you click on that email and it's about the high school reunion. Has nothing to do with work but you're really interested in it. Obviously it's much more fun than the work that you have ahead of you.

You begin opening that email, you click on the pictures, you look at all the links. The next thing you know it's 8:25. Oh my gosh, got to get back to my day.

What's going on? Again, you open up that calendar, you open up the task list and you look at the files that are on the desk. What do I have to get done today? What just happened in that whole process was your mind jumped to somewhere else and you're a lot less productive.

How do we overcome that? My belief is that is truly where you have to be intentional and focused about what you want to accomplish. Because if in fact to plan your day, let's say the task really is only about five minutes to do what I just described without going to the email that was the fun email but it's really only five minutes.

Suppose you do that and then you begin to work on the rest of the things that you have to get done. What happens is we end up with mental fatigue, we end up with errors, a lot of unfinished tasks and things that just don't go as well as we'd like. Vary how that situation at the end of the day you walk out of the office and you look at your to-do list and you've only checked off a couple of things and you really didn't get done all the things that you wanted to get done. In fact you are really dealing with everybody else's agenda. You went to meetings, you responded to phone calls, you did emails but you never found the time to get done the things that you set out to do that particular day.

Here's the solution and how you deal with that forty percent productivity loss on a daily basis.

You stop the mind jumping, you stop the mind juggling and you are focused and more concentrated on how you actually go about your day. When you feel your mind beginning to jump and go to that next task and you haven't completed the one that you're on, stay with it so that in fact you accomplish more on a daily basis. Let's bring that number of forty percent down to a smaller number that really makes you feel a lot better so that you walk out of the office and you say, "I've had a great day today. I got the things done that I really needed to get done." Close the door and you're ready for the next day to begin when it begins but tonight, I'm done.

About Lauren Midgley

Lauren Midgley, based in Dallas-Ft. Worth Texas, became an entrepreneur in 2010 after a 25+ year career with two Fortune 500 companies in a variety of positions: Franchise Development, Sales, and Marketing. Skilled at helping others with their personal productivity, accountability, leadership, sales growth and marketing, Lauren understands her audience and their motivation. Her depth of knowledge and understanding come from being an executive managing a team and being a business owner herself. She engages the audience through interaction, thought provoking questions and unbridled enthusiasm. Her goal is to shift their thinking and action to get results.

Lauren is a professional member of the National Speaker Association and is on the Board for the North Texas Chapter. She has an MBA and undergrad degree in Marketing. Lauren is proud to have acquired the Certified Franchise Executive certification from the International Franchise Association.