Wise Words with Slavica

We all seem pressed for time and most think that mutli-tasking is the key to accomplishing more. Unfortunately, it does quite the opposite and works against us. By trying to do to much at once, our level of performance drops as well as the quality of our execution. We find ourselves exhausted feeling like we have done a lot but, really, finished, nothing major. 

We seem depleted of our mental and physical (and often emotional) resources. Mostly, we wasted our most precious and limited supply, time.  Therefore, instead of mutli-tasking, you can utilize your ‘’learning curve’’ ability to do much more, more efficiently. You will feel energized, empowered and motivated. 

The learning curve basically states that you gain momentum by doing the same task and therefore use much less mental resources to accomplish it.  You start at the bottom of the curve and, the more you do the same action repeatedly, the faster you climb up the exponential ladder.

Here is an easy example to understand how the learning curve works. Please count from 1 to 10 out loud. Pretty simple exercise, right? Now, please name the alphabet from A to J. Simple too, correct. Lastly, do the same exercise, but this time, using one number and one letter such as “1A,” “2B”… This time, it took you much longer, naturally. 

The reason is very simple. Your thoughts had to travel from one part of the brain to another to add both components which slowed you down considerably. When you count from 1 to 10, you are using the learning curve. When you mix letters and numbers, you are mutli-tasking. 

There is reason to believe that if you follow the learning curve and stay with only one task until it is done, you will finish it five times faster. I am an example of this as I use this all the time. That’s why I can finish writing a 400-page book in 5 weeks, for example. Well that, and the fact that I write a lot. 

You too can accomplish more in less time by utilizing this principle and following these 5 simple tips.

I. Turn off your phone. 

For your brain to focus on one single task, you need to remove any other form of distraction. This means you need to turn off your cell phone (completely). If you let your phone buzz, you will be distracted, and your brain will have to start from the beginning of its learning curve. Even if you silence your phone but expect a call, your brain will not focus entirely on the task at hand.

II. Disconnect the Internet

It may seem a bit extreme but accessing social media is one of the biggest time and energy wasters of modern times. The simple clicking on a page and returning to your work, will distract you enough to get you back at the beginning of your learning curve.

III. Block out a section of time

By blocking an hour or two in your agenda, you are more likely to follow through in doing just one thing and not being tempted to add more. 

IV. Clean your desk or environment. 

Remove any distractions from your immediate environment and leave only what is essential for the task at hand. You will stay focused and less prone to getting your thoughts dragged into the next thing you had on your list which would remove your focus. 

V. Start your day earlier if possible. 

We are often able to accomplish 3 hours of work in one hour when non disturbed by our co-workers, emails. It might be worth your while. And, if you work outside of your home, you will gain time by escaping traffic jams. 

It doesn’t take much to do more. The trade-off is so positive that you will soon be hooked on the learning curve. Imagine finishing your tasks five times faster? You could do five times more or, simply, have more free time to do… nothing. 

Slavica Bogdanov is an internationally renown public speaker, 5 times best selling author with over 40 published titles to date.


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