Published May 10, 2022
4 Secrets To Maximizing Productivity and Performance (No, Multitasking Isn’t One of Them!)
We are looking for ways to increase our productivity levels. But multitasking isn't the key - learn the secrets to improving work performance and avoiding burnout in this guide.

If there is one soft skill that professionals around the world have been over-selling it is multitasking. As our lifestyle got increasingly more hectic, “being busy” became the status symbol of our generation, and the word “multitasking” made an appearance on most professionals’ resumes.

But is multitasking a synonym for productivity, vitality, better work performance, and expertise? Recent studies have confirmed that no, multitasking doesn’t help!

But what’s even more interesting is that 2019 research showed the detrimental effects that dual tasking can have on our brain. From dividing our attention to curbing efficiency, reducing attention span, and even lowering IQ, focusing on multiple tasks at the same time can be highly counterproductive!

So, now that we have ruled out multitasking, what are the real secrets behind increased productivity? Let’s start with the ones below.

Learn To Prioritize - And Cut Out Distractions

During your day at work, you will have to deal with pressing distractions attempting to steal your focus away from the main task you should be concentrating on. Some - including phone calls, meetings, and emails - you might not have power over, but there are others - such as social media time - that you can control.

Learning to manage these distractions and prioritize the different tasks in your schedule is essential for a productive day at work. Some tools to get started on your journey to a more productive work life include:

  • Use a social media blocker app when at work
  • Create a schedule to stick to - do it the night before!
  • Have a clear snapshot of the tasks that need to be completed
  • Plan for regular breaks during the day
  • Allocate time for fun with family and friends

Time Management Can Be Made Smart

By now, you are clear on the fact that multitasking isn’t what you need for a productivity boost. However, there are other ways to organize your time to optimize your energy and cognitive power. Here are some alternatives, but don’t forget that partnering with a performance coaching expert can help you find the best strategy for your needs:

  • Chunking - chunking is a strategy that can help working memory and productivity by bringing logic into your schedule and grouping tasks that can be combined depending on what your desired outcome is. For example, if you need to exercise for 30 minutes and need to pick up the dry cleaning, maybe you could opt to cycle there and back)
  • Have a routine in place - building positive habits are crucial for health and productivity. From your diet to fitness routine and mindset, there are many aspects that can influence your productivity levels
  • Use the 80-20 rule - this rule, also known as the law of the vital few, refers to the principle by which 80% of the outcome derives from 20% of the input. Therefore, you should learn to prioritize 20% of your tasks that will yield the best results.

Know Your Productivity Sweet Spot

One of the most important rules to avoid multitasking and burnout is to learn how to say “no”. Indeed, taking too much on your plate can increase your levels of stress and divide your attention.

However, it is also true that, for some professionals, it is important to keep their schedule busy, the energy flowing, and tasks coming. These dynamic individuals are able to channel the stress that comes from a busy schedule and turn it into a force for good.

Every person is unique, and you should work towards finding the balance that works best for you.

Focus on a 360° Change

Remember that every aspect of your life is connected with others. In the case of on-the-job performance, aspects such as your diet, sleep quality, and fitness routine can be highly influential. For example, whole plant foods, 8-9 hours of sleep, and regular movement can boost your morale and energy levels, thus improving your productivity.

Make sure to partner with a performance coach that uses a holistic approach.

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