I thought that multi-tasking was specific to the female of our species – apparently not. So I could not resist this article to restart my blogging.
This great article by Mary McDonald, CEO/CTO of the McDonald Consulting Group http://www.mcdcg.com/10.html , an occasional client of mine, explains why multi-tasking can be detrimental to productivity.
People have different opinions on multi-tasking vs. one focus approach… so which is better?
“The Myth of Multitasking” by Christine Rosen details several reasons why multi-tasking is not the optimum approach:
- a fall in IQ (more so than if the subject were smoking marijuana
- decrease in learning
- negative impact on productivity (affecting the economy?)
- lost ‘brain time’ as the brain works to juggle several tasks
- and many more.
I’ve seen first-hand how multi-tasking affects our decision making — while sitting at a light waiting to make a left, I watched a woman coming through the intersection from the other side, talking on a cell phone, and drive right into a telephone pole. She never braked until she actually impacted the pole; and she continue to chat as she got out of the SUV to inspect her damage! Unluckily for her, a patrol car was at the red light on the cross street; he simply flicked on his lights and pulled over to write her up.
When trying to get a project complete, divide the project into smaller tasks. This tip: do those smaller tasks in their entirety prior to moving on to the next step.
Good ways to accomplish this:
- ignore the phone and email while working on a project
- set aside time on your calendar to do research, gather materials, and write rough drafts
- work from start to finish without pause, if possible
- if you must break, take a break at a logical stopping point, and leave your materials in place for easy restart
WARNING: These simple ideas may cause you to become more focused, productive, and happy. PROCEED WITH CAUTION! <grin!>
Terence Kierans CAVB (Certified Australian Virtual Business)
Principal, Cyberspace Virtual Services, Western Australia
www.virtualservices.com.au – Experience the Difference
www.virtualservices.com.au/CVS_blog – My contribution to business owners
www.avbn.com.au – Australian Virtual Business Network—You Deserve the Best
2007 Thomas Leonard International VA of Distinction Award Nominee
Contented Member of ‘A Clayton’s Secretary’
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