Increase your productivity by 40%…quit multitasking. It is really this simple. As humans we think that we can multitask. We live in a society were more is better. The more you are doing at any given time the more you seem to be really productive especially as a retailer. Reality…we are not. If you are a woman reading this, it means you too.
Because we have so many ways to communicate and to get things accomplished our minds tend to tell us that we are really effective. The truth is once we begin to add more than one task to what we are already doing we reduce effectiveness.
Let’s look at it this way; you are in a conversation with a staff member. All of a sudden your phone goes off. You reach for it to check it (justifying that you need to make sure it’s not an emergency). Your staff member is still talking to you and now you are looking over a text about the BCS between Alabama and Notre Dame stats. Distracted you have missed 2-3 seconds of what your employee said to you.
Another example, you are a sales rep on a conference call with a retailer for their upcoming orders. While you are sitting in front of your computer you have multiple screens open. You are checking your facebook page, responding to email and taking an order. How many mistakes did you make on that order?
There is a reason why we cannot drive and text at the same time. Here are some stats for you:
~ 5 seconds is the minimal amount of time your attention is taken away from the road with you’re texting and driving. If you are traveling at 55mph this equals driving the length of a football field without looking at the road.
~ Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. That is equivalent to a 72 year old man who has had two cocktails.
~ The brain plays a big role in creating the belief that we are great at multitasking. We think at a rate of 1000-3000 words per minute but we only listen at a rate of 125-250 words per minute. Our brain is working faster than we bring in information therefore creating the perception of down time.
How do we improve our productivity?
1. One task at a time. If you work in retail and are on the sales floor, turn off your cell phone. Don’t have it on vibrate. TURN IT OFF! Try it for one day. We dare you. And then note what happens. If this is already a company policy then you already know the answer to what happens.
2. Prioritize your list of to do’s. Everyone has task for the day. What are the most important for you to get done for today? Focus on one task at a time. If you are one that has to sit in front of a computer close al of your other screens down while you are doing each task.
3. Carry a notebook with you OR use SIRI. Because we know our mind is working faster than we can manage, but this doesn’t stop the ideas from flowing. Having a notebook by your side allows you to write down those ideas or task and continue on with your current job at hand.
In the New Year challenge yourself as a retail owner, a sales rep or human being to be more efficient. Stop multi-tasking. Try just one of these suggestions and see what happens to your day. We guarantee you will get more done, which means you will make more money, which means you will have more time to do what you are really passionate about.