How many times have you wished for one of these?
Breast pump?! hahaha :D :D
I used to be a big fan of multitasking!
‘I can multitask like the best of ‘em’, I would grin from ear to ear.
My multitasking skills were called upon heavily at my old job. I had a span of about 5-10 minutes before I was pulled into a new task. This went on for the entire day, every day. I started to realize that this was not an efficient way to work.
Those same work habits carried over into my new business and before I knew it, I was multitasking in a crazy environment just like my old one. Only now I was bringing it onto myself. I wondered if maybe I secretly thrived upon this style of work.
Here are a few key points from the article that I will expand upon:
First of all, multitasking is inefficient, crazy, and more complicated!
How NOT to multitask:
1) Plan your day in blocks
I like the 40:20 idea: 40 min work blocks, with 20 min. re-grouping or miscellaneous tasks blocks. The 20 minutes of each hour is allotted for things that pop up unexpectedly and for future planning, this does not mean 20 minutes of each hour is spent on Facebook or Digg. ;)
2) First thing in the morning, work on your most important task of the day
You know the saying…GIT ER DONE!
3) Have only one physical and one virtual inbox
I currently have 5 email accounts and I will be re-directing every email account into one inbox. Some of them already are, but some of them are not.
4) Stop and Breathe
If you feel the urge to check your email, Tweet, IM, Facebook or do another task while working on something, stop yourself and take a few deeps breaths, re-directing your focus to the task at hand. Repeat to yourself what your goal is for the hour.
I am notoriously bad for walking to my computer to do a specified task and then get distracted and do something totally different. Before I know it I am replying to emails and I have completely forgotten what I came into the room for! Am I an 85 yr old trapped in a 20 something’s body or am I just taking on too many tasks at once? I’d like to think the latter. ;)
[For the rest of the tips, see here.]
What I am starting to realize is that I don’t have to do everything at the same time.
Things. Can. Wait.
My mind is not at peace when I am focusing simultaneously on 10 different tasks.
While I do not think that multi-tasking is inherently bad (it obviously can come in quite handy at times!!!), I do think it can be harmful if taken to the extreme.
My Action Plan:
I planned out today’s task in blocks in my Gmail calendar:
While I do not consider my workout the most important part of my day, history tells me that if I do not do it first thing, it often gets skipped!
I start my workday with my most important task, which is baking my orders. Without this, no orders can be shipped out.
I normally would not have scheduled 2 interviews in the middle of a long baking day and so far apart. In retrospect, I should have booked the interviews back to back, first thing in the morning so I would have the day clear for baking. On the other hand, it may provide a needed break in my day so it may just work.
With my afternoon interview, this doesn’t leave me much time to pack and ship out my orders before end of day. 3-4pm will be a crazy hour today trying to get it all done.
Hubby gets home + dinner + clean-up. Emails and packing for our weekend trip.
We always end our day, no matter how busy, with some down time together. Friday night will be a movie night!
My Goals for Day 1:
- Focus on the task at hand, the one task at hand during that hour, whenever possible
- Stop mindlessly going onto the computer when I am supposed to be doing something else
- Schedule breaks! You can see a couple places in the calendar where I have 15 mins. with nothing (before each interview). This will give me a bit of downtime before switching to the next task.
- Check off tasks as I go to feel accomplished
Will I be more productive and accomplish more than when I multitask? We shall see. :)
Are you a crazy multitasker like me? Do you do a million things at once or are you good at focusing on the task at hand?
Multitasking is the art of distracting yourself from two things you’d rather not be doing by doing them simultaneously. ~Unknown