5 Work Habits That Will Keep You Effective

I’ve been talking about workplace effectiveness (not efficiency) quite a lot lately, yet the topic still seems to be very lively.

In essence, being productive and effective can become a big challenge if you don’t have any system set or some good habits in place. This is especially significant if you’re running a business (if you’re your own boss).

To make matters even worse, there are some things that seem intuitive for us to do, but in fact are quite harmful and make us lose our productivity. At this point I think I should simply tell you what they are, and point out some positive habits you can create in your workday. So here goes.

1. Don’t multitask

Multitasking is the biggest scam in productivity history. But the sole idea of multitasking seems sensible, right? Well, it isn’t.

And here’s why: Our conscious brain simply can’t multitask. We’re not wired in a way that would allow us to multitask effectively. Actually, when we think we’re multitasking, we actually focus on only one task but for a very brief amount of time, and then switch to the next one.

So here’s a better solution: Don’t multitask. Do one thing at a time. You will soon find that you’re a lot more productive and effective. Just give it a try.

2. Don’t do email in the morning

Email is the second biggest productivity killer around (right after multitasking). If you want to lose 2 or more hours of your morning, just go ahead and focus on email…

The thing is that email is not as important as we think it is. Checking email just twice a day is a lot better approach, and it will give you the same level of connection with people. Besides, once you turn your email client off you’ll feel like a free person again. I promise.

3. Do today, not tomorrow

If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing today. Postponing things for the mythical “tomorrow” is only a trick we do on ourselves.

If you set a habit of doing stuff today what you’re actually building is a skill of skipping the unimportant tasks. Whenever we’re picking things to do for the day we’ll naturally pick only the most important stuff. However, when we’re picking tasks for tomorrow, some of the less important tasks will likely end up there.

So … forget about tomorrow and do only the important stuff today.

4. Have your resources available

Once you start working, it’s important not to get distracted and to be able to do the task without the need to have a break longer than a couple of minutes.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that breaks are bad. I’m just saying that unplanned breaks in mid-task are bad.

A good method of keeping all your resources together is using a tool like Dropbox, or having a special folder on your desktop, or a tray next to your desk (whichever seems the most sensible for you).

But most importantly, remember about preparing the resources you need to complete the task before starting the work.

5. Get only the required information

Information overload is one of the biggest plagues online these days. There’s just so much stuff available that you could browse through countless articles your whole day and not do a single thing.

But there’s an even more serious problem with information overload. Where it really hits you is when you want to do a certain task, but you feel that you need some information before you can start, so you go online searching for it.

This is all good, but whatever you find will likely link to another article … and another … and another. The tough thing here is to stop reading and do the task.

So here’s my advice. Consume only the absolute minimum amount of information you need to complete a given task. Don’t fall victim to information overload.

So here’s my take on workspace effectiveness. What’s yours? Do you have any insights of your own?

Karol K. is a freelancer (writer) and a productivity enthusiast. To find him, feel free to visit ThemeFuse – the leading WordPress theme store. Check out their gallery of great WordPress themes.

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