People are bad at multi-tasking. Doing two (or more) things at the same time has a huge impact.
- Make more mistakes
- Take a lot longer to finish any task
- Experience more stress
- Keep going back and forth between tasks, like a chicken without a head.
So why am I (and you most likely as well) even trying it? It comes down to a sense of urgency. Everything needs to be done, and preferably now!
Nowadays I do this a lot less, but only by taken deliberate steps to avoid it. If I don’t take those steps I start slipping again and try to do too many things at once.
One of the biggest tools that helped me not only to prioritize, but also to shift the way I think about using my time for specific tasks is the time management matrix I learned from Stephen R. Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. A must read in my opinion.
This is the matrix.
And the thinking that goes along with it is this.
Not important things you should drop, or delegate at least. These are quadrant III and IV.
Spend as much time as possible on quadrant II. By doing this you will prevent many urgent activities, so automatically you need to spend less time in quadrant I.
This is a very summarized version and I highly recommend reading the whole book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, where this concept is also discussed in much more depth.
But even if you don’t read the book, start working on quadrant II activities. Plan your work better. Specifically, focus on the most important tasks first.
Do only one task until it is completed, or till you can’t work on it more, for example when you need outside input.
What is your biggest challenge to stop multi-tasking? Let us know in the below comments section.
See you around.