Multitasking and why you should stop it now

Only this morning I was drying my hair with my laptop on the floor paying a phone bill at the same time whilst using my toes! It got me thinking that if I truly want to simplify my life I need to concentrate on one task at a time and stop the nonsense that is multitasking.

“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.”  – David Allen

multitaskingMultitasking only dilutes the success of each task in hand. I have found in recent years that the most productive days I have are those where I fully cross something off my T-Do List. I have posted recently about how I manage a number of aspects of my life with lists however I feel a lot calmer, less panicked and anxious when I can, once and for all, cross something off my list(s).

By drying my hair and paying a phone bill this morning, I realised that I had saved no time at all and in fact what I had achieved was a less than desirable hair do! I’m sure I’m not the only person to tentatively hover over crossing something off my list because I’ve only half done the task. When I apply myself and offer something my full, undivided attention, I complete things in their entirety in the first instance.

As of today I’m attempting to stop multitasking – How?

  1. Pause, I’m trying to slow the pace down in a lot of areas of my life and I must remember that when dealing with my chores and general household tasks too.

  2. I have recently read a couple of posts and been tweeted about setting timers. This comes in particularly handy when facing doing something which you have been avoiding. Set a timer for say 20 mins. Get that thing done, give it your all and then it WILL be gone and done (which is what you’ve been wanting for days if not weeks. Face it, give it time and just get it off your plate).

  3. An app that can also help to allocate time to certain tasks is Pomodora [goes to download].

  4. Tasks or the people helping you perform them deserve your 100% respect and attention. (my pet hate is somebody chatting away on their mobile while at the supermarket checkout, the staff member gets no actual contact and I find it really rude).

“Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.”
― Susan Sontag

 

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. 27/09/2016 / 10:38 pm

    Multitasking is great when you fee that you actually can complete a couple of things properly and quicker. It doesn’t work with me at work either. However, at home I do manage to do some things together and save time. Great post!

  2. 10/10/2016 / 1:04 pm

    Should be required reading for every corporate employee. In every single meeting there’s someone noisily clacking away on their computer trying to multitask, when all they’re doing is ignoring the most important thing in the moment an distracting the rest of us. Drives me nuts. Especially when I’m that guy.

    Great post!

    • maybtoday
      11/10/2016 / 6:26 am

      That drives me mad too, even if they are taking notes! typing appears less engaged then making the odd note with that old fashioned thing “a pen and paper”

  3. 14/10/2016 / 10:53 am

    This is a great post! Honestly, balancing too much at one time just leaves me feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Where, if I’m able to devote my attention to one task at a time, I really feel more productive and, in the end, more successful. After multitasking, I’m left feeling tired and, like you, only half done. Thanks for sharing! <3

  4. 29/10/2016 / 11:12 pm

    Food for thought. here’s a fab book called The Chimp Paradox, great for helping to understand your brain, productivity and priorities. Eat That Frog is another great book to live by.

  5. 16/12/2016 / 7:56 am

    This is a common issue most of us face in today’s digital age. When we are so used to “multitasking” but very few people stop to ask if we are truly more productive?

    For me personally, I think I work best when sticking to one task at a time.

    • 23/03/2017 / 9:28 am

      If your arleitcs are always this helpful, “I’ll be back.”

  6. 23/12/2016 / 2:29 pm

    This is so so true I am forever trying to multitask and essentially taking longer doing everything. Or more like me is burning myself of poking myself in the eye because I’m not concentrating on something!

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