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Be productive - don't multi-task, it just makes you dumb.

We don't want to admit it but we love distractions. In fact, just like monkeys, we get a shot of dopamine every time something pulls us in another direction.

Why do you think you check your email so much?

Well, here's some tips to make you more productive and get your focus back:

1. Work backwards from goals to milestones to tasks. Writing "launch company website" at the top of your to-do list is a sure way to make sure you never get it done. Break down the work into smaller chunks until you have specific tasks.

2. Stop multi-tasking. Switching from task to task quickly does not work. In fact, changing tasks more than 10 times in a day makes you dumber. When you multi-task, your IQ drops by 15 points for men, five for women (yes, men are three times as bad at multi-tasking than women).

3. Lock your door, put a sign up, turn off your phone, texts, email, and instant messaging. If you know you may sneak a peek at your email, set it to offline mode, or even turn off your Internet connection. Go to a

quiet area and focus on completing one task.

4. Schedule your email. Pick two or three times during the day when you're going to use your email. Checking your email constantly throughout the day kills your productivity.

5. Use the phone. Email isn't meant for conversations.

6. Work on your own agenda. Don't let someone else set your day.

7. Don't burn yourself out with super long stints. Work for 60-90 minutes, then go for a walk, have a snack, do something completely different.

Ilya, Dubai

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jun 20, 2012
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