So many times I’ve heard leaders praising people by their “multitasking skills”. Yet all the productivity experts are crystal clear: multitasking does not allow a flow state.
And this is simply because our own brains do not multitask. They switch from one activity to the other, and every time we switch our accuracy and speed take a toll.
Productivity is the result of concentration in a task at hand with no distractions, among other things. People need to be able to spend blocks of time working on a single task, activity or project, with no distractions, to get the most out of the invested time and produce high quality results.
There’s one additional component to productivity: breaks. Research has proven that even short breaks improve attention, decision making quality, motivation and well-being, among other benefits, resulting in a higher level of productivity.
Let that sink in for a minute and think:
- how is work structured in our team?
- what is the percentage of our agenda that is filled by meetings?
- do we praise people for how many things they are working on simultaneously?
- do we provide working arrangements (time, space, tools) that enable focus and concentration?
- do we consider breaks and downtime when planning activities and defining goals?
Learning about deep work, flow state and creativity can help us and our teams 10x productivity.