According to Guy Winch, PHD and author of Emotional First Aid: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejection, Guild and other Everyday Psychological Injuries, “When it comes to attention and productivity, our brains have a finite amount,”
“It’s like a pie chart, and whatever we’re working on is going to take up the majority of that pie. There’s not a lot left over for other things, with the exception of automatic behaviors like walking or chewing gum.” Moving back and forth between several tasks actually wastes productivity, he says, because your attention is expended on the act of switching gears—plus, you never get fully “in the zone” for either activity. Wow, I’m letting that sink in a moment, because as a busy, working Mom I tout my ability to multi-task and I bet you do too. But, I have found that while most multi-tasking can be really be a distraction and make you less effective, there are times it can be good too. As entrepreneurs we can’t afford the wasted time as time is money for us. Below are 3 ways to effectively multi-task and gain better time management tools.
Tip #1 – Personal development and chores
One effective way I find to multi-task is to listen to podcasts or audible books while doing chores. I either load them up on my phone and clip to me, or just lay my device down with the volume up. There is absolutely not a lot of brain power I need while folding laundry, cooking dinner or loading the dishwasher. What a way to free up some time in your schedule than to group multiple items together that be accomplished simultaneously. I find that I get my chores done quicker when I am getting a boost of motivation.
Tip #2 – Exercising with friends
Another way to effectively multi-task is to exercise with friends. I love to take walks with my girlfriends. We get to catch up and get our work out in all at the same time. Even better, one of my friends brings her dog with us. Walking the dog, exercising and getting our gab on. Everyone wins!! That works for exercising at the gym, workout room in your neighborhood or playing a sport like tennis. Exercise goes by really fast when spending time with friends.
Tip #3 – Watching T.V
The final way to effectively multi-task is to watch T.V. and do any easy activity. Everyone who knows me well, knows that I LOVE to watch T.V. Some ways that I make that work into my schedule is to DVR everything, which means I can automatically save time by fast forwarding through the commercials. When I’m watching T.V. I fold clothes, order groceries or make lists. If I miss something on a T.V. show it really isn’t a big deal.
I hope that you have found these 3 tips to effectively multi-task helpful. For more tips and inspiration on time management and other topics, be sure to follow me on my Facebook page.