If you're like us, you love productivity tips and advice that will help you with your personal and professional goals. But with so much contradicting advice online, what tips really do work?
Here's a great list of tips by renowned scientists and efficiency authors that really know what they're talking about.
- Advice from Sociologist Christine Carter: Opt for focus versus busyness. The feeling of being busy due multitasking doesn't actually make us more successful. Instead, it can waste our energies and divert our attention from the most important tasks. Instead, Carter recommends that we acknowledge our busyness when it happens, then quickly redirect our attention to one task.
- From Authors Rory Vaden and Greg McKeown: Know when to say no. Called "priority dilution," having too many obligations can make it difficult to work on the most important tasks. Both Vaden and McKeown encourage workers to know their priorities and learn how to say no to new work or distractions. Vaden recommends having a template response that will allow you to politely decline a new task, and McKeown offers some strategies to say no without actually saying "no".
- Again from Vaden: Make time tomorrow by managing your attention, time, and energy today. Vaden recommends a shift from a purely time management strategy to also include your energy and attention management as well. Instead of saying, "What do I need to do today?" ask yourself "What should I do today for more time tomorrow?" This not only allows you to stay focused, but it can also help you stop procrastinating and finish those small tasks that you've been putting off (like paying the bills).
- From Psychologist Adam Grant: Leave important tasks unfinished for a time (the Zeigarnick Effect). Instead of trying to finish a task in one sitting, try leveraging our natural tendency to ruminate over an important job by completing it in chunks. For creative jobs, the Zeigarnick Effect can help you develop new ideas. It also makes it easier to return to the task, knowing that a part of it is complete. If you want proof of this technique's effectiveness, look no further than Ernest Hemingway, who also used this technique to write his famous books.
Overall, these tips are scientifically tested and proven, backed by an understanding of the human psyche and its complex thoughts. For more useful advice on this and related topics, visit the Productivity and Self-Improvement sections of our blog.
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