You’re one of those do-it-all guys. You have no problems at all about getting down to work and you get many things done simultaneously in the best of ease. You are severely underpaid, but you don’t even care about any of it because it’s not the money for you. It’s the constant pressure and the relief of getting things done in little to no time at all that get you off. You thrive off it. However, days and weeks and months fly by with you always performing at your very best – to the point that even your very best doesn’t satisfy you anymore. You’re overworking yourself, you’re exhausted, and you’re on the verge of burnout.
If that wasn’t enough, another big project is coming up around the corner, but you’ve already completely depleted your creative juices and it seems as if you just don’t have enough energy to power through another long haul. You have a problem.
This is where most people make mistakes: productivity is not a measure of how much you get done in a given amount of time. What productivity really is, is the average amount that you can get done over a long period.
Most people have it wrong when it comes to getting things done productively. Trying to optimize every single thing in the span of a single day is where the majority of us fail. While perhaps we are able to do so, how long can you really perform at your 100% before you need a break?
The things we do in the name of productivity – multitasking, adhering to strict time constraints, and even the very small things we do towards optimization are all becoming a hindrance to our actual ability to perform exceptionally over a long period of time.
Instead, what we should all strive to do is more along the lines of the real definition of productivity – and as much as this seems counterintuitive, this includes eliminating multitasking. Instead of trying to do a lot of things at the same time, try prioritizing things in terms of value vs effort. Meaning, you prioritize them into high value low effort, high value high effort, low value low effort, low value high effort. From there, you start doing them accordingly with the priority on things you can do with value but little effort.
Another thing that you might do instead of multitasking is to really batch things according to the similarity of the actual task. Put the things that need to be done in an order that makes sense, allowing a good flow with little distractions.
Experiment a little as well and see what works for you. Remember, it’s not about getting things done in as little time as possible. It’s about getting the most important things done first, while being able to maintain your energy for a long period of time.