Despite major blockbuster hits like “I Don’t Know How She Does It” lead you to believe, multitasking is not the most effective way to get anything done.
Please. Take it from me, a gold medalist in multitasking.
In the time it’s taken to write these three sentences, I’ve gotten up to do the dishes, made my breakfast toast, and responded to three emails. Eekgads.
I’m working on focusing more lately. It’s the nature of the path I’ve chosen to have multiple projects in motion at any given time, and that’s fine. I actually relish when there’s lots of work to do and lots of sillies to create. But I’m learning that my productivity can increase exponentially if I respect the fact that giving whatever task is in front of me my complete focus.
I’m taking time at the beginning of my week to outline the week’s goals and needs. Then I put each of those in their own time slot in my schedule. When it’s time to work on them, they get my total focus. When their time is up, I move on. That way, I’m not only doing a little of each thing and thinking I’m being much more productive. It helps me see more results- and especially more results I’m proud of.
When you have a lot on your plate, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. It’s also easy, when you’re multitasking, to convince yourself you’re getting more accomplished than you actually are. I fall into this trap often, and have found that when I’m proactive about my focus, it changes everything.
I now respect the fact that my schedule- if followed correctly- will allow me to get everything I want done in a day done properly. But I have to respect the fact that if it says “write stand up jokes” it doesn’t mean “check Facebook updates” or “read that snarky Jezebel article.” It means, “write stand up jokes.” So just do that. And afterwards, there will be plenty of time for mind numbing activities.
So turn off the TV. Turn down the pop music. Dare I say it- turn off your Wifi for a while (after you finish this post, of course). Focus. Be present in the moment with the task at hand. For me, it’s a relief to know there’s only one thing that I need to do right now. Everything else can wait. It’s not as important as you think. WARNING! MAJOR LIFE SECRET! Everything else can usually wait. In fact, the distracting tasks you’re so concerned about when you should be doing something else will be done much better if you just let them wait their turn.
Gotta go. I’m three minutes behind schedule and I really want to make sure I have time to write that “HUNGRY! LOL!” Facebook status later.