multitasking. it’s like crack.

Apparently multitasking is a bad thing. Recent research suggest it makes us less productive and more stressed.

When you have a home office and two kids, it’s virtually impossible not to try and do 5 things at once. After all, you have two hands, 12 emails, two conference calls, two mouths to feed, a deadline to meet and of course…you absolutely have to go pee, STAT, because your post-baby bladder is never on your schedule.

It seems like even when I try to focus on one thing at a time, inevitably five other things are vying for my attention. Here’s what I’m doing to try and stay focused and kick the multitasking habit. Hopefully these tips will help you, too.

  • DITCH THE PHONE. When I’m with family, out to dinner, trying to spend quality time with my kids, etc., I ditch my phone. iPhones are distracting. There are emails, tweets, Facebook messages, Words With Friends, all begging me to pay attention (look at me! look at me!), when I really should be focused on the people around me. Because ditching my phone is easier said than done, I often hand it to my husband when we sit down so he can hold it hostage.
  • MAKE A LIST, PRIORITIZE AND DON’T DEVIATE. I’ve become a list cop, slapping my own wrist when I break the rules. When I sit down to my desk, I make a list, in priority order, and I do everything in my power to knock out each thing in order. When I get pulled into another task– I put that on the list and go back to it, so I can stay on course. Staying on course also often involves ignoring my phone, sometimes my email. Email = a distraction trap. Check it before you start on your list and after you’ve finished the first task, then again after you knock out the next task.
  • MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS. Skype, IM and chatting might seem like they can be productive, but they just don’t work for me. I find them distracting, so I don’t have them running unless I need to for a meeting. Also on that list–Facebook and Twitter. Let’s just make that the Internet in general. If I need to write, focus on budgets, etc., I’ll close my browser and not look back. Once that bad boy is open it’s like Pandora’s box. If all else fails, I turn off my monitor.
  • SCHEDULE REGULAR MEETINGS. Instead of impromptu calls and emails that disrupt the list and my schedule, I try and schedule calls/meetings with people who need a lot of my time, so we can knock out several things in one slot of time.

It’s a work in progress, but so far I’m seeing a difference in how much more I can get done in the work day so I can have more time for the most important things on my list at night . . . like mastering the cake pop with my three year old!

 

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Comments

  1. Nichole says:

    You have absolutely NO idea how much I needed to read this today.
    You are awesome. Thank you!

    • Thank you! I need to read it everyday! We all have so much going on and for some reason it seems to be in our nature to try and do it all at the same time ;)

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