A surefire way to screw 2 things up at once

Do you ever wonder how you’ll get everything done you need to?  

If you’re anything like me, you have a quite a few things on your list.  There might be a few big things like client meetings or hiring an employee and a lot of smaller things like social media and administrative tasks.  

One strategy people use to get more done is Multi-tasking.  Multi-tasking is when you try to get 2 or more things done at once.

Have you ever:

  • Checked e-mail while you’re on a conference call?
  • Taken a client call while having a conversation with your spouse?
  • Signed a contract while talking to an employee?

Even though it seems like we’re getting more done, studies have shown multi-tasking is really a way to screw 2 things up at once. 

A study done at Stanford compared groups of people on their tendency to multitask and their belief that it helps performance.  They found that heavy multitaskers were worse at multitasking and had trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information.  Another study showed that multi-tasking can actually lower IQ.

Although we can do 2 things at once -- talk and chew gum for example -- we can only FOCUS on one thing at a time.  If we're trying to check email and pay attention on a call, we are switching from one thing to another rapidly - so fast you don’t even notice.  

In the switching, we lose our concentration and it takes time for us to “remember” where we left off and start over.  It’s the constant stopping and restarting where we tend to forget things. This leads to days and weeks of unfinished business, loose ends, and shoddy work.  

The solution to this is planning your day so you can focus on the things that need your full attention.  Some ways to do this are time-blocking your calendar, using a timer to focus on one thing (Pomodoro Method), and doing tasks that require your focus earlier in the day.

Even though multi-tasking seems like the solution to our busy lives, it’s actually focus on the important things that will grow your business and lead to more fulfillment.

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