As busy project managers or active team members, we seem to be running around, getting things done asap. Cheaper, Faster, Better, Multi-tasking are buzzwords which are key to our survival.
Multi-tasking is a fantastic drug… it really gets you hooked. Whatever you do, you feel like you are in control, that you are doing more, and getting the most out of your time.
With multi-tasking, you feel that could do more, enjoy more, and benefit more… right now!
The establishment supports it. The kids love it. The devices and gadgets all have it, in-built & ready to use…
You can open multiple Windows, multiple tabs in browsers, several apps on the smart phone, and feel in control. Email notifications are popping, Facebook pokes and likes are all over the place, and WhatsApp notifies you instantly.
You seem busy, you are actually busy… responding and consuming at the same time.
Yet, at the end of the day, are all these smart devices, faster computers, quad core processing powers really helping you in getting MORE done?
The truth is that we get distracted all the time. We are unable to hold our attention to one task for any longer than a few seconds.
The problem is that we keep switching tabs, keep checking our social media accounts for what others are doing, open Outlook, PowerPoint, Chrome, and get lost in the sea of multi-tasking. In this “busyness”, we just switch tasks, tabs, apps all day long, but nothing much really gets done.
Time management is a myth. You can not manage time. Time takes it’s own time… you can’t hurry it, and you can slow it down.
The only thing you can control is your own self – yourself – You. So Time Management is really Self Management.
The human brain is wired to do only one thing at a time, consciously. If you were to focus on only one thing, you’ll get more done, faster!
You may not like the truth. And you may not believe me. So I’d like to invite you to do an experiment with me. Try it out.
If you open the browser to read an article, don’t open another tab or window. Read the entire article in this window. Resist the urge to click on a side link, banner ad, or even a within text hyper-link. Simply read the entire article.
How long did it take?
Were you able to finish it?
Weren’t you happy that you could actually completely read an article, and make the most of it?
Dump Multi-Tasking. Embrace Single-Tasking.
Dump Multi-Tasking: Start by closing all windows, alerts, browsers on your PC, Laptop, iPad or other mobile devices. And..
Embrace Single-Tasking: Make a conscious effort to focus only on one thing at a time. Open only 1 application. One Window. One Tab. One Focus.
If you want to do email, open your email program maybe 2-3 times a day, at fixed times. Process the email quickly. Mark the ones that need a longer response, and allocate the time on your calendar to do it. For the simpler ones, if you can do them in 2 minutes or less, just do it. If you don’t need an email, trash it immediately.
I’ll talk more about it in a later post. For now, follow this tip, and for more on this topic of Improving Email Productivity, pick a copy of David Allen’s bestseller Getting Things Done.
If you are planning for a project, only focus on the current project at this time. When other ideas or thoughts come up, don’t simply jump to start doing them. Instead, simply jot down all other ideas on a paper or pad, for later retrieval.
Writing an article, focus on it only. Studying for the PMP exam, focus on it only. Whatever you do. Keep Focused, single-mindedly. And only do Single Tasking today.
Try this for today, tomorrow… whatever it takes to get you hooked to single-tasking. It is not going to be easy. That’s why it is a Challenge.
If you want to be become a better manager and get more done, you need to Dump Multi-tasking, and Embrace Single-Tasking.
Write your comments on the Facebook 30 Day Challenge Group.
If you haven’t joined it yet, join it now. Share your experience, comments, feedback. It is essential that you take part in the discussion, and share your experience at Single-Tasking. You will benefit, and others will benefit from your experience too!