Embracing laziness for a more effective and sharp way of working
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04 Nov Intelligent laziness is efficiency

THE BUSY GENERATION

Being constantly busy at work has gained a recognition of being equivalent to having success and being dedicated to your job. But as recent studies show, being overly busy with loads of different tasks leads to multiple distractions and interruptions.

Dr. Travis Bradberry recently wrote an article on the subject, in which he states that: “beyond interruptions, busyness reduces productivity because there’s a bottleneck in the brain that prevents us from concentrating on two things at once. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.”

IT TAKES 15 MINUTES TO RETURN A PROJECT AFTER AN INTERRUPTION

A study performed by David Meyer from the University of Michigan showed that switching what you’re doing mid-task increases the time it takes you to finish both tasks by 25%. This study was further investigated by research scientist Eric Horwitz at Microsoft, who decided to examine this phenomenon in their employees at Microsoft. He discovered that it took people an average of 15 minutes to return to their important projects every time they were interrupted by emails, phone calls, or other messages.

Furthermore, the study showed that these interruptions led the employees to stray to other activities such as surfing the web.

AVOIDING INTERRUPTIONS IS THE KEY

In general employees are far to concerned with being able to multitask, and taking on different tasks instead of shutting off distractions and completing one task at the time. One of the main interruptions is the constant flow of emails that may or may not be relevant to you, but nonetheless takes away focus.

ELIMINATE “CC JUST IN CASE YOU NEED INFO” EMAILS

In the Delogue platform, we try to eliminate some of these distractions by directing the messages that are relevant to you. This means, that as a supplier, designer or product developer you will only receive the messages that are directly related to you and your work tasks. The amount of “CC: just-in-case-you-need-info”-emails are thereby reduced to important emails only, which helps the employee not to miss vital information and focus on  the important tasks.

INFORMATION LOAD INCREASES WITH THE TEAM SIZE

The CC: just-in-case-you-need-info”-emails and interruptions could also involve multiple questions from co-workers who turn to you for answers. Being a good colleague, the natural thing is to stop what you’re doing and help out. Of course this is not a bad thing! But if these questions are constantly interrupting what you’re doing, the distractions will eventually take away valuable time for you to do your job.

Sharing information and knowledge within a company is vital in order to keep the company growing and evolving. By this you eliminate disturbance within the team and maintain focus on value adding tasks.

EMBRACING THE LAZINESS

In Dr. Travis Bradberrys article, he states that we are drawn to being busy despite the fact this hinders our productivity, and that we use busyness to hide from our laziness and fear of failure. At Delogue we embrace this “laziness” by saying that ” Intelligent laziness is efficiency”  which means that cutting corners is perfectly fine, if it helps making ends meet in a faster and more effective way.

Bradberry concludes his article by stating that the consequences can be severe if we don’t do our best to slow down. We’re so hooked with multitasking that we think we’re getting more done, even though our brains can’t physically cope with it.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

TIPS ON HOW TO FOCUS WHILE WORKING

  • Pause or turn off distractions like phone and email
  • Start your day by making a to-do list and prioritize your tasks
  • Avoid taking on more tasks than you can manage – delegate!
  • Create a shared platform where your team easy can find actual information – this way you might be able to avoid interruptions due to a constant flow of questions

Read the full article by Dr. Travis Bradberry here.