multitasking (of a person) dealing with more than one task at the same time. “parenting skills such as multitasking and concentrating amid distractions are easily transferable to the workplace”……….Or are they?
I am a HUGE multitasker. I can read, watch tv, and listen to my husband…….wait…..what did he just say? Ok, I didn’t say I was GOOD at it!
In fact, I was reading an article in FORBES that said that 98% of the population doesn’t multi-task very well. Only about 2% are good at multi-tasking and these “supertaskers are true outliers.” I don’t think I am in that 2%.
The article also said that the problem with trying to multi-task is all that shifting back and forth between tasks isn’t really all that efficient because, each time we do it, it takes our brain some time to refocus. So while it might seem efficient on the surface, it isn’t. Studies show that multi-tasking can reduce productivity by as much as 40%.
So how in he heck DO you switch from multitasking to single tasking?
1. Seems obvious but………Do One Thing at a Time – Contrary to the multi-tasker’s way of thinking you’ll actually get more tasks done by doing them individually (and with fewer mistakes!).
2. Be Present – Be present with your work and with those you are working with. Stay on your current project/call/letter/conversation and don’t let your focus float to other tasks.
3. Finish Before You Start Something – Finish the task you are working on, before starting the next one.
3. Prioritize – Resist the urge to let small tasks interrupt big ones.
4. This is a big one…….Put Down the Tech – Technology has allowed us to work anywhere. That doesn’t mean you should. Close your email, turn off the phone, and put down the “other” tech while you are working.
5. Make An Appointment With Your Work – Schedule an appointment with your toughest tasks to designate time to work on one task or project.
6. Eliminate Interruptions – These are another form of…….yes……multi-tasking!
7. CONTROL YOURSELF! If you feel the urge to check your email or switch to another task STOP yourself. Take a breath, refocus, get back to it.
Of course there are times when an interruption is so urgent that you cannot put it off until you’re done with the task at hand. If and when that happens, try to make a note of where you are (writing down notes if you have time) with the task at hand, and put all the documents or notes for that task together and aside. Then, when you come back to that task, you can pull out your folder and look at your notes to see where you left off.