Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Multi-tasking too much?!!? Watch those Eggs!

Yes as women (in particular) we know we are pretty good at Multi tasking, but at what cost? More and more research is coming out telling us that we actually get less done due to multi-tasking and not concentrating on one thing or at least less things at once. Difficult I know to anyone who has young children, works, runs a household etc etc.

It is worth giving decreasing multi tasking a go though. Coming from someone who is as guilty as the next person of multi tasking too much, sometimes to the detriment of myself, my family and my work.

It's so easy to fall into the trap of thinking, if I just do this while I do this, and I may as well get this done while I do this, being 'present' to none. Therefore often not doing any of the jobs properly. Sad when it comes to time spent with our children and we are not focusing on them enough.

One thing I try to do to prevent not concentrating on my kids is generally not work from 3-8pm - says she working at 5pm on a school day -only because both kids have friends over and are otherwise engaged!

When it comes to work I block out time in my diary for the jobs at hand and avoid emails and other distractions during these blocked out times. When I successfully do this the amount of concentrated and productive work I do is much higher than when this doesn't happen. Having a husband who is self-employed and often home alongside me - he is often the distraction!! Surprisingly to many people, as I am more renowned for being a chatter box, and he known as the 'quiet' one - he is the one who wants to chat all the time!

I have to ever so kindly tell him I can't concentrate and get my work done with constant questions and chit chat. Generally he 'gets' it but there are days when he forgets and I have to jokingly ignore him till he remembers to stop interrupting me so much!! we can catch up over a cuppa or lunch when I try to switch off from work.

On to why you have to be careful with Eggs!!
A friend told me funny story the other day about the traps of multi-tasking having thought she was saving time by brushing her teeth and attempting to transfer half a dozen eggs from one carton to another -doing a good deed by sending off an empty one to school to use. You guesses it, she ended up dropping the carton and breaking all theeggs in the process. A great lesson to do one thing at a time no 2, 3 or god forbid more!!

There was a great article called Stop the Madness, in The Age on the weekend, with an excerpt from a book by A J Jacobs called My Experimental Life. Summing up our increasing obsession with multi-tasking as "In one sense , task-juggling makes me feel great: busy, energised, fulfills, as if I'm living three lives in the space of one. but I also know I'm scattered. I'm overloading my circuits. This overstimulated, under focused world is driving us all batty..."

Worth thinking about. ...Watch those eggs or any breakable object if doing more than one thing!

Claire McFee Creator Organize Your Life Organizers

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