When it comes to getting things done, it can be all too easy to fall into the trap of believing that more is better. After all, if you're juggling a dozen different tasks at once, you must be making progress on all of them, right?
The idea that if we multi-task and have several activities in progress at once, we will get more work done is a myth. The human brain isn't wired to handle multiple complex tasks simultaneously. Instead, when we try to do too many things at once, we spread ourselves thin and get less done than we would if we focused on fewer things.
So, what's the solution? One word: WIP.
WIP stands for "work in progress," and it's a term used to describe the number of tasks you're actively working on at any given time. And when it comes to getting things done, limiting your WIP is one of the most powerful things you can do.
There are a few reasons why limiting your WIP is so beneficial. For starters, it helps you focus. When you're only working on one or two tasks at a time, you can give them your full attention and make real progress. But when you're juggling a dozen different things, you're constantly having to switch gears and refocus, which can be incredibly draining.
Limiting your WIP also helps you stay organised. When you're only working on a few tasks at a time, it's easy to keep track of what needs to be done and when. But when juggling a dozen different things, it can be hard to stay on top of everything and make sure everything runs smoothly.
Finally, limiting your WIP helps you avoid burnout. When you're constantly juggling a dozen different tasks, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and start to feel like you're not making progress. But when you limit your WIP, you're able to take a step back and see the bigger picture, which can be incredibly motivating.
How do you go about limiting your WIP? The first step is to take stock of everything you're currently working on and make a list of all your active tasks. Then, take a good hard look at that list and start prioritising. Which tasks are most important? Which tasks can wait? And which tasks can you delegate or eliminate altogether?
Once you've prioritised your tasks, start setting limits for yourself. For example, you may only work on three tasks at a time. Or, you may only work on one task until it's done before moving on to the next. Whatever you decide, the key is to be intentional and stick to your limits.
So, there you have it. If you want to be more productive, more organised, and less stressed, the key is to limit your WIP. It's not always easy, but the benefits are well worth it.