“Focus on being productive instead of busy.”
– Tim Ferris
One of the most common complaints I’m hearing these days from business owners is “I don’t have enough time.” Whether it’s keeping up with their planning, marketing or billing, there’s never enough time.
Even in normal times, the deluge of calls and emails constantly threaten to make us lose our focus on doing the things that are really important for our businesses to thrive. Now, with the pandemic continually adding new layers of complexity to running our businesses, it’s no mystery why it’s more challenging than ever before to get things done.
Today, I’d like to share with your a game-changing productivity hack that will help you be more efficient. This system works for me and I’m confident it will change everything for you. It’s surprisingly simple and easy to adopt, but it will take your productivity to a new level.
Think about all the times you need multiple tabs and documents open to perform a task. When you’re copying information from one document to another, you have to toggle back and forth between multiple spreadsheets and maybe even a website on a single screen. And, if you’re working on a laptop, as many of us are, the screen space is pretty small.
There’s got to be a better way, right?
The Magic of Multiple Monitors
There is, and the answer is multiple screens. In my office, I have a computer set-up at my desk consisting of three screens. In the middle, I have my laptop. On the left, I have a monitor that slightly larger than my laptop screen. It’s a basic HP model, nothing high-tech or fancy about it. On the right, I have a small TV that’s been retired from my home. This 32-inch model doesn’t have the latest bells and whistles, but it makes a great large monitor. This was not a big investment, but the returns are huge.
No More Toggling
With this set-up, there are many options for multitasking. For example, I can be talking to a client on Zoom call on one screen, looking at their website on another screen, and writing notes on a third screen. Another way I leverage the multiscreen set-up is to keep my email inbox open on my left screen, and from time to time glance over at it to keep up with incoming emails. This not only saves me the seconds of clicking on a different window every time I want to check my inbox, it is much less of an interruption to my flow and concentration. Then, I can use my other two screens to work with documents that I need to reference simultaneously in order to do my task.
Do More in Less Time
You might be wondering, is adding an extra screen or two really a game-changer? The few seconds it takes to open a new window may seem insignificant, but you’d be surprised how the seconds quickly add up to minutes and hours when day after day you’re constantly toggling back and forth on a single screen. Think about how much time you’re worth per hour, and then imagine getting extra minutes of real work done for every single hour you work at the computer.
Improve Your Accuracy
When you copy and paste data from one spreadsheet to another on a single screen set-up, you can lose your place and waste seconds making sure you pick up where you left off each time you toggle back and forth. With multiple screens, you keep multiple documents open simultaneously and spend less time finding your place.
For me, three screens is the magic number, but two screens might work for you. Either way, your productivity will dramatically increase over your current single screen set-up. Once you’ve tried this, I am sure you’ll wonder how you ever put up with working so slowly on one screen.
Check out my YouTube channel for more game-changing tips on managing all aspects of your business.