We’re all guilty of being distracted. One minute you’re checking emails, the next you’re updating your ASOS cart and before you know it, you’re Facebook stalking your ex-class mates from high school – don’t lie, we’ve all been there. With all this in mind, it’s not hard to believe that we spend approximately 47% of our waking ours distracted from what we’re doing…oops! So it’s time to look at some tips to boost your productivity this year.
Werk, werk, werk, werk, werk
Ever feel like you’re falling behind at work? You’re not the only one! When we become distracted from a task in the workplace, it can take us around 25 minutes to get back on track! When we spend 28% of our day sorting emails and a third of our time in meetings (which could have been emails, amirite?), it’s no surprise that more and more of us struggle to maintain a healthy work/life balance. This pressure to juggle is super common in workplaces today and as Mandy Millan Founder of Flo Wellbeing says:
“The temptation is to try to cram more into the day and always do several things at once. But the brain can’t efficiently do more than one thing at a time. Tackling tasks in parallel takes us 30% longer and we make twice as many errors”.
As we try to keep on top of things, we create a vicious cycle which is extremely harmful to our mental health and wellbeing.
Below are some mindfulness techniques given to me by Mandy to boost your productivity and combat stress – PHEW!
There’s no time like the present
Try picking a simple every day task such as getting dressed and stay present as you complete it. When you feel your mind start to wander, bring it back to the chosen task. By regulating your focus and attention every day, you’ll slowly become more present in everything you do – no more mismatched socks for you!
It’s all in your head
Uh-oh. Around 80% of our daily thoughts are negative and repetitive. When we begin to notice our internal monologue, we become less distracted and more focused as we dismiss unnecessary thoughts. Instead we can choose our actions based on thoughts which are useful in the present moment.
Don’t hesitate to Meditate
Meditation can support mindfulness. By sitting quietly and focusing on your breath, you can learn to focus your attention. Concentrate on where the breath is the most prominent whether it be in your nose, chest or belly. If your mind begins to wander, return your focus to your breath. This helps to improve attention and takes as little as 5 minutes to feel the benefits – how good is that?!
- That we spend 47% of our waking hours distracted was established by Killingswoth and Gilbert, 2009.
- It was a study of Google employees that found it took them up to 25 minutes to return to what they were doing when interrupted by an email (Microsoft 2007).
- On multitasking – https://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2011/02/15/why-multitasking-gets-you-nowhere-fast/#3ad02d5b30fa
- The stat that 80% of our thoughts have some negative content and close to 95% are recycled is from Russ Harris in his book The Happiness Trap.
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