multi tasking

the best way to mess up multiple things at once

So you get up early, you follow your morning routine set out by the insane amount of articles you have read on how to start your day THE most productive way.

You drink your water
You Meditate
You get in you hour of exercise, the list goes on…

You have your day all planned out, between your task manager and your calendar you are all set.

Then you go and balls it all up by thinking you can take on more and do three things at once.

Everyone has done it including me, so I’m no better. I was always of the opinion if tasks are similar or can flow side by side then why not bundle them together, the problem is the time you take to switch from one task to the other and back again is actually more draining than you think. If you block out say an hour for task X and in the midst of the work you think I could do task Y here too. You are not saving your self any time.

You start work on task X, say 15 mins in you start on task Y, your mind is already wondering now statistically its going to take you approx 20 mins to get your mind refocused on task X. So if you do the math, your likely to be 35 mins in to task X for around 20 mins of productive work, and all you have do is glanced at task Y to asses the amount of work needed to complete it, or how you are going to integrate it into task X.

If you had focused solely on task X, you would be over half way through your allotted time and have your task more than half completed.
Now if you swap from task X to task Y more than 3 times thats over an hour of time you have spend trying to refocus on the single task you originally only time blocked an hour to finish.
So your no further along, in fact you are now behind, both tasks are incomplete and your schedule for the day is pushing you to more on to the next job.



Still think you are a multi tasking machine?

There are exceptions to this rule, like every rule I guess but they are few and far between.
Even on the days when you are jumping from meeting to meeting juggling various different topics and making decisions based on the information in front of you, there are still countless occasions where you still have to go deep with your focus to accomplish your desired goal.

What you need to be able to do is limit (better yet remove) any possible distractions and deep dive into that project or task and just get it done. There are countless benefits to this both physically and psychologically.


Physically >
The Job is done (or at the very least moved in the right direction and is one step closer to completion)
It is less stressful and labour intensive


Psychologically >
You get the ever satisfying endorphin of removing that task from your todo list
You no longer have that nagging feeling of an incomplete task in the back of your head
The stress of moving a job forward has been removed
the list goes on …

So next time you think multi tasking will get more done in less time… think again

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