Procrastination due to exhaustion, digital detoxing, increasing productivity and increased demand for multitasking are some of the most pressing issues of today, so we decided to call in the experts and see what they had to say!
During Bucharest Tech Week, we had the opportunity to meet up with Andrew Mellen, known as “The Most Productive Man in America”. He sat down with us and shared a few expert tips on how to perform better at the projects you set out to do, both on a professional and a personal level.
According to him, arranging your life for increased productivity in meaningful areas has two components.
First there is the math component, wherein you calculate minutes, hours and days to tackle challenges, a component you’ll see addressed by a host of productivity-focused devices and apps promising to enhance your life.
Then, there is the storytelling component, which is represented by the reasons you give yourself and the narrative that accompanies your thoughts, sometimes on an unconscious level, which can end up impacting actions.
There are some fundamentals that we’ll see in some companies where the culture is so pervasive that everybody buys into the same story – like ‘There’s too much to do and not enough time’.
It’s his job to tackle these narratives to find actionable solutions, so Andrew Mellen offers an alternative viewpoint.
“It could also be that there isn’t enough time to do everything but not everything needs to be done. Or not everything needs to be done by you.”
When asked about the concept of “multitasking as a superpower”, especially since employers put a heavy emphasis on this, he did not mince words.
“Multi-tasking is a lie.”
While this may sound a bit too cut and dry, Mellen went forward to explain that you cannot do two things at the same time. You can, however, move sequentially from task to task and might be able to pivot extremely efficient from one task to another.
“Even if you have a mental story that says ‘Oh, I can talk on the phone and do my dishes’, you will probably ask the person you were talking to to repeat themselves because you were so focused on the dishes or you will be so focused on the conversation that you will be washing the dishes longer than needed.”
Therein, he says, lies the ability to pivot between two tasks, because juggling both at the same time is impossible.
However, in the reality of modern workplaces with Slack, email, project boards and so on, the demand for attention in multiple places is always going up.
So how are you supposed to handle that?
The best-selling author of the book called “Unstuff your Life!” started off our talk with unexpected advice:
“If you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, the rest of the day gets better.”
Then, we went in-depth on the topic of procrastination and actionable tips on how to really Marie Kondo your professional life, addressing multiple myths that harm us along the way.
Trust us, you’re gonna want to know what can possibly happen after eating a frog, so enjoy the watch!