Are you a multi-tasker? I wore the ability to multi-task as a badge of honour for many years, I even chided my husband for not being able to do multiple things at once. That is until I discovered his approach of mono-tasking was better. Multi-tasking gives you the illusion of productivity when it, in reality, makes you less productive.
Fredrick Fabritius, the author of The Leading Brain, states “Rather than promoting productivity, multi-tasking undermines it. It can make tasks take 50% longer and with 50% more mistakes”.
For me, just becoming aware of when and how much multi-tasking I was doing has made a difference. One big ah! ah! for me was becoming aware of how many times I would start a task, and then before it was complete I would start another. This then led me to the belief that the first task was more complicated and took longer than it did.
For example, I began to notice how many times when sitting down to write a blog post, I found myself responding to other emails or down an internet rabbit hole that I rationalized as research or some other task. Now all these other tasks needed to be done, but they didn’t need to be done while I was writing the blog post. I realized trying to write my blog post while doing other things made the blog post writing seem more complex, difficult, and feel like it took longer than it did.
Now when I notice I am multi-tasking, I stop, I decide which task is the most important and give it my full attention for a designated amount of time or until it is complete. My productivity and my sense of accomplishment have increased while my stress level has decreased.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed with multiple tasks?