The experts say that doing more than one thing at a time does NOT make you super-efficient.
You eagerly go to meet someone. She welcomes you, ushers you in to her office, seats you and just as you get ready to start your interview, she turns to her computer to check mail, browse, write mail even as she tries to keep up with you.
Would you enjoy that meeting? How can anyone do anything significant while juggling with so many things simultaneously? As if that weren’t enough, she probably thought she is being super-efficient. To me, it seems downright rude that anyone would actually treat someone that way in spite of confirming the appointment. It is a lot like constantly talking on the cell phone through a business lunch and not getting beyond the ‘excuse me’ each time you receive a call, even as you eat. I mean, why wont they just switch off and just enjoy lunch and the meeting?
Today, time management experts are discovering that multitaskers actually don’t get much done. You really have to focus on one thing at a time.
Alternating between tasks at once can have serious side effects – messing up relationships, wasting time and of course, causing stress, which is the root cause for most diseases today.
Thus, if quality is a consideration, multi-tasking is no good. You have just got to break the cycle! The human brain is incapable of focusing on two things at the same time AND doing justice to both. So just forget it if you beeping cell phone, new email on your computer, you PDA, your landline, your kid, your dog and your doorbell are all competing for your attention. Which will you tackle first?
Some self-discipline has to be called upon, here. This can help you redeem some peace and efficiency even as you get your personal and professional life together. You have got to look people in the eye to get the full impact of what they are saying.
That said, how to break the multi-tasking habit?
Here are some tips:
- Just eliminate some of your tasks.
If you’ve taken on more than you can handle, make a list and take stock. Prioritize. Drop the ones you just cannot do. It is okay to say NO.
- Don’t let technology rule you.
Regain control over technology by simply switching off email, phone, etc.
- Tackle one thing at a time.
Granma was right. Get focus. Get over the initial resistance: it gets easy as you practice. You will discover that it is once again enjoyable to connect with the people, values and chores that carry meaning for you.
People always rule over technology. Ultimately, it is all about building relationships – because it is love (in varying degrees) that makes the world go around!
Get a grip! Take time to smell the flowers!