After twenty years in production, I am a master multi-tasker. It is the nature of the industry. I can juggle an obscene number of things at the same time…until I can’t. I have learned which tasks and how many I can keep in the air at once and when I need to set everything aside and focus on one main thing. When it comes to detailed, content focused tasks it is time to cry uncle and give up attempting to do more than that thing. Otherwise, major errors occur…every time.
I cannot blog, write my memoir or coach a client while multi-tasking. These things require and deserve my undivided attention. I can listen to a Teleclass or audio recording while I do some scheduling, type up a few brief emails or clean off my desk.
What things are you able to successfully do at the same time and what would be completed faster if you focused completely on that thing? Jumping back and forth as emails or Facebook posts come in is one of my main distractions. I am working toward a system where I only check at specific times of the day but I’m not there yet. For me, this is an area of multi-tasking that typically ends in up in slowing down my productivity and dividing my focus.
Having a fully developed multi-tasking muscle is handy and I definitely use it. Being able to shut it off and apply a singular focus to those things that are best completed without splitting my attention is the new tool I’m developing.
How much choice do you have when it comes to when to apply multi-tasking? When is it a distraction and when does it serve you? How can you design your day to include off-line time to devote to items that need your undivided attention? What kind of boundaries do you have to have in place with others to be sure your off-line time is respected?
The more I mastery I generate over things like identifying what actions I need to be taking immediately to expand my business and consciously designing a priority task list and schedule, the more effective I become. I am beginning to see the results.
In the past, I rebelled against modulating my day and week this way. I felt like my calendar was controlling me and I resisted it. Now I see this approach actually gives me more freedom and more energy. It is becoming more automatic and more refined. Multi-tasking can be my friend when I don’t let it run the show. With selective use it is no longer the enemy.