KG Productivity Tips Series, #1: Minimizing Distractions

The topic of productivity needs no fancy introduction — everyone who runs or has stake in a business worries about it, and everyone wants to be better at it. At Ketner Group, we take pride in our balance between productivity and play, because, well, you know what they say about all work and no play. Below, a few of the Ketner Groupies have shared our favorite productivity tips. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll cover what works to keep us organized and on-task.

Brittany: Multitasking Doesn’t Work, Sorry
The first step of recovery is to admit you have a problem, and the problem in this case is multitasking. I have learned—the hard way—that I am not much of a multitasker. Sure, the human brain is capable of some multitasking, like listening to the radio while driving or stirring a cooking dinner while talking on the phone. But it turns out that multitasking in the office doesn’t work very well (and it’s not just me!), and there’s a lot of science to prove it. In a Time magazine article, writer Claudia Wallis explains the research: when people try to tackle multiple tasks at once, “or [alternate] rapidly between them, errors go way up and it takes far longer—often double the time or more—to get the jobs done than if they were done sequentially.” Worse still, research from the University of North Texas found that multitaskers actually lose time because “the brain is compelled to restart and refocus” as it switches gears.

Instead of trying to knock out five projects every five or 10 minutes, admit to yourself that multitasking doesn’t improve your game and discipline yourself to dedicate larger blocks of time for each project. Remove environmental distractions such as the Internet, a cluttered workspace or verbal interruptions. Continue reading