Stop Multitasking Today
Back in the late 1990’s through early 2000 a hot topic in business was multitasking and how it could make you so efficient. Everyone wanted to be good at multitasking and if you thought you were you would brag about this skill you mastered. The first generation of handheld digital devices also came out to help us accomplish several things at once. The word multitasking began appearing in the “skills” sections of resumes, as office workers restyled themselves as high-tech, high-performing team players.
But more recently, challenges of multitasking have begun to emerge. We feel overwhelmed but also productive, pleased with our ability to juggle so many things. In reality, however, that sort of behavior makes us less effective in our jobs and our lives. It takes time (an average of 15 minutes) to re-orient back to a primary task after a distraction such as an email or a phone call. Efficiency can drop as much as 40%. So stop multitasking today! All information that is obtained during your multitasking efforts is not useful. You need to consider which communications are worthy of interrupting you, and what new data you should seek out. One of the most important tactical steps in improving interruptions is turning the things that look like distractions into tasks, and managing them in the same way that we manage other tasks.
The most productive people work in 90 minute cycles with 15 minute breaks. They plan their interruptions and turn them into tasks. Make a list of the top five things you want to accomplish the night before. Perform the work in 90 minute cycles. At the end of the cycle get up from your chair and work area and take a break. Get a healthy snack, walk outside and get the mail, take a short walk to clear your head. You get the idea I’m sure. Once your 15 minute break is up get back to your office and focus hard on either completing what you were working on or starting a new task for the next 90 minutes. You can do it and it will pay off big for you.
Advantages if you Stop Multitasking Today
- It will speed you up, so you will get more done
- You will make less mistakes
- You will have less stressful
- You will be more creative
- You will enjoy life more
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