Written by Kathlynn McConnell, CPLP
Answering emails while viewing a webinar and reading a report could earn you the title of “multi-tasker.” Being labeled as a “multi-tasker” seems to be a badge of honor these days. However, earning this badge by trying to focus on two or more tasks at the same time or trying to switch rapidly between them means we're not giving any of the tasks our full attention. In the end, this actually reduces our productivity.
Not only do we become less productive, multi-tasking may add to our stress and impatience because we are only partially present, leading to increased misunderstandings and mistakes. So, how do we ditch this unproductive badge of multi-tasking? Here are five easy-peasy steps to help you begin your 2018 journey to productivity and sanity:
- Don’t allow smaller tasks to interrupt the one you are currently focused on. For example, don’t answer emails while you are on a phone call and vice versa.
- Complete the task you are involved with before moving on to the next one. This allows you to be more fully present and attentive to each detail, leading to fewer mistakes and more enjoyment by moving the task from your “to-do” list to your “to-DONE!” list.
- Straighten up your work area before you begin your tasks for the day. Clutter tends to rob us of our peace and presence and it tantalizes us to randomly focus on things other than the task at hand.
- Turn off ringers, beeps and email notifications while you are engaged in a specific task.
- Check emails on the hour instead of every minute of the hour.
Consider not multi-tasking for at least one hour a day as a New Year’s Resolution for yourself. You can get a head start on being more productive and sane in 2018 now by putting at least one of the steps into action each day. I double-dog dare you…