Let’s continue with our discussion of productivity. This time we’re looking at the idea of multitasking, and whether it really can help you get more done in less time. Read on…
The Multitasking Myth?
Multitasking is a great way to get more done in less time. However, that’s only true if you do it right. And most people don’t do it right.
We touched on this concept earlier in the course. Basically, many people who say they’re multi-tasking are really just flitting between two tasks. For example, they’ll do some writing, then check their email, then check an online forum, then work on answering email, then do some more writing… and on and on.
The problem with this form of multitasking is that it doesn’t work. It’s inefficient and it wastes an incredible amount of time. That’s because every time you jump to a new task, you need to spend a few moments re-orienting and focusing on that task. If you do this over and over again throughout the work day, you could easily waste an hour or even a couple hours.
If you want to multitask, then you need to do it in a way where one task doesn’t interfere with the other task. Below you’ll find plenty of examples of ways you can multitask efficiently…
Work While You Wait
There are plenty of times throughout the week where you find yourself waiting with nothing else to do. These are the perfect times to catch up on a little work! For example, you can work while you’re:
- Waiting for an appointment (e.g., waiting for the doctor).
- Riding a train.
- Riding as a passenger in a car.
- Waiting in line (such as at the department of motor vehicles or even at the grocery store).
- Waiting for your child’s recital, sports game or other event to being.
- Waiting for your child’s event to end so that you can pick him or her up.
Learn While You Do a Physical Task
One way to squeeze in some extra education is to start listening to educational or even inspirational MP3s. Then you can play these audios while you’re driving, while you’re exercising, while you’re cleaning… or at any other time where you have the ability to focus on what you’re listening to.
Catch Up on Phone Calls While Doing a Physical Task
Instead of listening to an MP3 while you’re cleaning or exercising, you can instead choose to catch up on phone calls. You can also do this when you’re waiting, such as when you’re waiting in your car to pick up your child or another person. Naturally, you should avoid talking on the phone if there’s a chance you could disturb others (such as when you’re waiting indoors at the DMV).
Have Lunch or Dinner Meetings
You need to have meetings. You need to eat meals. You can multitask by combining these two activities. Just don’t pack your schedule with meetings and other activities during every meal period, as you need these breaks to relax and recharge.
That’s it for this time. Next time you’ll get some scheduling tips that are sure to boost your productivity. Stay tuned!