How to Stop Multi-tasking
I read a book called ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan and it provides the inspiration for this article.
In years gone by, I used to wear multi-tasking as a badge of pride and I can even remember times when it was a required skill in job ads. More recently, I had become aware of the move towards the understanding about the need to focus, but it was still a shock to find out that multi-tasking is estimated at making people 28% less efficient. Wow!
As humans we are capable of doing two things at once like walking and talking but we can’t focus on two things – our attention bounces backwards and forwards between them. With all the interruptions we get through our day, whether it is receiving notifications on our phones or being interrupted by our family, it adds to making us less efficient with our time.
Armed with this new information, I decided to test it out for myself and I was shocked by the results – I achieved a huge amount more each day. And, it worked across all areas of my life from the housework to the office – brilliant!
So I thought I would share the tips with you:
Block out time in your diary
Do this for jobs you need to focus on and guard it. This allows you to be really present for the task in hand.
If have a long to-do list, you may have the tendency to over-estimate what you are able to achieve in any given day. Start with selecting your number one priority and if you get onto the other jobs – bonus!
Cut out the distractions
Tell your colleagues or family not to disturb you. Turn off email, your phone – anything that could draw you away from the task in hand.
Take time out
Once you have done a ‘block’ of time, give yourself a break whether that is a reading a magazine with a coffee or going for a walk.
Recognise what you have achieved
Doing this each day will allow you to appreciate what you have achieved and your list will soon start shrinking.
Batch similar tasks together
By doing similar things together, you are able to keep in the same flow. I do this with my client calls, writing blog posts etc. and find it really helps me to get into the right mindset. I find this also works brilliantly at home too with chores like the ironing – I can get into a good flow and before I know it, the pile is gone! No more having to iron on the go.
So my question to you is: where in your life are you multi-tasking? If it’s time for a change, contact me for a chat to find out how I can help.