The world’s best professional jugglers seem like they can keep an infinite amount of objects in the air and never make a mistake. Eventually they push the limits, as they try to balance too many objects, or objects that are too heavy, or objects that are on fire and the juggling can only last for so long.
When we try to juggle too many tasks at once, the same thing happens. One task ends up falling through, or worse, we fail at all because we only briefly touch each one before moving onto the next. If you truly want to be productive, stop multitasking!
Often times we multitask because the tasks at hand may seem simple and we are great at our jobs! However as we do multiple things at once, we can never do one effectively. Try to talk on the phone and while simultaneously reading an email. Did you remember the email? Or miss something the person on the other end of the phone said? Worse is that the person you are talking to can often tell you are distracted.
Multitasking creates the feeling that we are busy, but we only end up “busy being busy”, and lose productivity. For each time we touch something, and then are distracted by something else, the recovery time it takes to get back on track can result in a 15 minute loss. You will end up stressed out because the day disappears with no results.
So, how can you prevent yourself from falling into the trap of multitasking? First, make a schedule for each day. If you know what you need to do during each hour of the day, you can avoid the temptation to try to do something else. By grouping similar activities into time buckets, you can perform each task more effectively. If you can fully commit and succeed at each task, rather than half-complete several tasks at once, your results will improve.
Are there other tricks you use to stay focused and avoid multitasking?