Multi-Tasking Is Over Rated
The phone rings,
the email “in” box is full, there’s a knock on the door, and to top
it off your next appointment is waiting in the lobby. You have a
hectic life and it’s loaded with interruptions every day. Yet, you
bounce back and forth each day from one task to the next because
after all you are great at multi-tasking – or so you think.
multi task even in our automobiles. How easy is it to concentrate
on that call from the boss and navigate the highway at the same
time? Sure you can do it but at what cost. Remember life before
mobile phones? In the past if you had an important phone call to
make while driving you had to find a phone booth. Then you pulled
over, stopped the car and only then did you make the call. That
phone call got all your attention.
Every time you
switch from one task to the next you are jolting your brain to flip
on and off like a light switch. Your brain has to mentally shut
down then reboot. How effective do you think you are? Women are
notorious at multi-tasking. Women learn to talk on a phone while
changing a diaper. We feed the baby and cook dinner, help with our
child’s homework, all at the same time.
requires doing a job well, not five jobs completed mediocre. There
are times when multi-tasking is necessary but many times we are
simply trying to accomplish too much at one time. When does one
stop all the juggling and determine which tasks should take
precedence. Here are some simple solutions that will help you stop
doing so much at the same time.
In order to
accomplish your tasks and complete them well you can first
prioritize the tasks. What deadlines must be met? What appointments
or research must be met? Look at all the projects you are facing and
determine what must happen first. Then determine all the tasks
necessary to complete the project successfully. Work all the other
tasks of the day around the most important one.
At the end of each day create a “To Do” list for the next day. Here
is where you write the tasks that are essential to complete a
project on a deadline. When planning out the day be sure to
schedule a lunch break. The lunch break allows you the essential
time to step away from the project and give it some prospective.
This can be very difficult for many people. Many people seem to
think they need to do everything. In reality, there are others that
can do some of the tasks quite well and you can then use your time
more effectively. Let someone else on staff handle some Emails,
answer the phone, and sort the mail. Is there someone in the office
that is really good at website content? You can even go to the
local college to find Interns that are begging for work experience.
Let’s face it if
race car driving was simple we would all be race car drivers. The
same is true in business. When you outsource a project you are
bringing in someone else’s expertise and thus freeing up your time
to do other tasks that you do best. If you are in the Insurance
industry then most likely web design is not your strongest skill.
Hire someone in the business of web design to actually design your
website. A salesperson might be an incredible closer but not so
great at creating superior marketing material. That’s a job you
outsource. As a licensed community association manager homeowners
hire me to manage their home owner’s associations. Sure the home
owners can self manage but it’s a lot more effective to outsource
this job to a licensed CAM that knows the state laws that will
directly impact what they can and cannot legally require of the home
owners. Outsourcing for a specific job makes perfect sense.
Working on a
company’s social media presence is time consuming. Today there is
an emerging industry of Virtual Assistants (VA). These people can
be hired to handle all your company internet needs. They will update
your Blog, keep your LinkedIn and Facebook page fresh. They will
make all the updates needed to keep your company name in front of
those that are your target market.
Learn to say “no” to people that are interrupting your day. You get
to control the day’s activities and if someone is demanding your
attention determine where that person fits into your priority plan.
over-rated. Juggling so many different tasks means you don’t
necessarily do the job to the best of your ability. Sure you might
complete the job but is it sloppy work? Is it filled with mistakes
requiring you to go back and review and rework the task? Everyday
people will call, email, and enter your day. You must determine if
you can and will make the time to connect with them or not. Remember
you might be on their high priority list for the day but that does
not mean they are on your priority list.
We all know that
there are only so many hours to the day. Take the time to figure
out what is most important to help you achieve the goals you have
for your career. Implement these six tips and you will be able to
successfully stop juggling so much in a day. This will help you
stack the cards in your favor to completing your projects timely and
effectively and thus make you shine.
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