Just Say No to MultitaskingOct 25, 2023
Do you find yourself multi-tasking?
If so, you may find value in learning that research shows the value of focusing your energy!
In our fast-paced society, we can easily find ourselves pulled in many directions all at the same time. It’s almost become a badge of honor for many to multi-task and brag about how many projects they are working at one time.
But did you know that there are some big downsides to multi-tasking?
There is a substantial amount of research, and likely your own experience, that shows multi-tasking greatly increases our chances of making mistakes as well making us much less efficient.
Our ability to focus our energy specifically on one task we want to accomplish, giving it our full attention, will ultimately help us be more creative, have fewer mistakes, and finish the task faster than if we were jumping around from project to project.
Although you will likely have more than one goal or project on your plate at a time, it will serve you well to choose one and give it your undivided attention for whatever period of time you set to work on it each day.
Think of the progress you can make on any one task if you give it full focus for as many periods of time as needed until it's completed and marked off your list. What a great feeling of accomplishment you will have at the end of the day, as opposed to feeling a sense of frustration that you really didn't accomplish very much.
So how do you prioritize your tasks to work on?
In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I like the time management program Stephen Covey shares to help us determine what tasks we should focus our energy on and what can be pushed off.
In this program, he recommends breaking our tasks into four different areas as listed below.
1. Urgent and important.
2. Urgent and not important.
3. Not urgent and important.
4. Not urgent and not important.
Obviously, the first category is our #1 priority and should be put at the top of your to-do-list. The second is for long-term strategizing goals that need to be accomplished but have no deadline. The third category is for activities you may want to accomplish, but are not critical. And the fourth is for activities that result in little value.
So why not give it a try this week? Make yourself a to-do-list on Sunday night of ALL the tasks you want to accomplish over this next week and use Covey's outline above to determine what needs to be at the top of your list. Then set out to accomplish as many of these tasks as you can giving each your undivided attention when you are working on them. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how many you are able to complete by the end of the week.
I’d love to hear what project you may be working on that needs some undistracted, undivided attention in order to finally get it completed.
Make it a great one!
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