Daily Buzz: Ditch Multitasking for Deep Work

How to focus on one thing at a time for better productivity. Also: Association leaders should be thinking about their long-term plans.

Trying to do a thousand things at once? Don’t. Our brains are not set up to work on more than one thing at a time, says keynote speaker Melina Palmer in Inc.

“Clearly, multitasking is not the best way to get things done. Instead, experts recommend deep work—thoughtfully eliminating distractions and focusing on one thing at a time,” she says. “Making the switch is not easy, but it’s worth it.”

To make the transition to deep work, Palmer recommends turning off all notifications for a week.

“Your status-quo-driven brain will tell you that you need them, but you don’t. After a week, you can determine which notifications you want back. You may surprise yourself. My only notifications are for texts and phone calls,” she says.

Another strategy is to break up big, daunting tasks into smaller parts. Identifying mini-tasks will help you avoid procrastination and move forward, Palmer says.

Don’t just eliminate tech-related distractions. Keep other people from disrupting you by establishing signals that tell others you are in deep work—for example, shutting the door to your office so your spouse doesn’t come in.

Technology can also help you with deep work, not just distract you. Use tools such as Focus Mode in Microsoft or programs that alert you when focused time is up, so you don’t keep checking the clock, Palmer suggests.

Looking Beyond the Day-to-Day

Things may be hectic at your association right now, but it’ll pay to look ahead, argues JP Moery of The Moery Company.

“I urge you to look beyond the day-to-day and start thinking 90-120-180 days ahead,” he says. “Things will begin to return to a new normal with a new set of circumstances. Are you ready for that? Are you beginning to prepare for that right now?”

Other Links of Note

Have you evaluated your automated emails recently? Check them to make sure they’re still relevant, says Kristina Leroux of the Nonprofit Marketing Guide.

“Regramming” can spice up your Instagram feed, but you need to know how to do it correctly, suggests Tony Tran on the Hootsuite blog.

Remote working vs. flexible working: Knowing the difference can help with productivity, says John Brandon in TechRadar.

(SIphotography/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Michael Hickey

By Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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