Multitasking is a lie. It doesn’t exist. At least not in the form which we refer to it most. Yes we can walk and talk at the same time and we can chew gum and write in our notebook at the same time and we can drive our car and talk and listen to the radio but really we cannot do anything which requires attention and concentration at the same time.
Brag about being a good multi-tasker? Prove it. Studies show quality and productivity of “multi-taskers” never outperform focused attention on one task done at a time in succession.
You are really not doing more than one thing at a time. You’re actually bouncing between two or more things but you’re not doing anything at the same time. Bouncing around from one thing to the next reduces your effectiveness and your concentration and robs any chance of gaining momentum which is essential for quality work true productivity.
Even the fastest and most powerful computers do not actually multitask. They switch. They alternate from one function or task to another. The faster the computer the less noticeable but it’s true. Even the fastest computers noticeably slow down when resources are burdened with multiple tasks.
Time management and productivity are often on our priority list especially when it comes the turn of a new year. We invest in the next fancy calendar or other time management gadget with the hopes that this year we’ll figure it out and do better in this department of our business and our lives.
Concentrated focus on the highest value task at any given time is the answer. “What should I be doing right now? What is the highest value, most important thing I can do?” Ideally, these should be planned out the night before so you will start the day ready for action.
For business owners, marketing or selling your product are generally the highest value task in your business. Of course it is not the only important task which needs to be done but it is the highest value most of the time. Tackle the highest value task then move on to the next highest value tasks.
Concentrated focus on the highest value task will put you on the fast track to being as productive as you can be. Being as productive as you can be by prioritizing and working on your highest value tasks will put you on the fast track.
Not only will this put you on the fast track to greater achievement and more success but it will also make much of the lower value tasks which you normally get into less necessary or even unnecessary. They will either become unneeded or easier for you to delegate.
When delegating becomes more valuable than doing, then delegating will be on your hierarchy of priorities. Learning how to give $10 an hour work to $10 an hour people instead of doing it yourself will become almost like an income stream because you’ll be able to focus even more on highest-value stuff…which is usually more enjoyable as well.
By the way, taking rejuvenation time during your day is equally important. When you expend your highly focused energy on high value tasks, you need to replenish. You deserve a 10-30 minute wind down and a snack so you have the energy and focus for the next highest value task.
This is easy to understand but not easy to do. For most of us, it requires a change in habits which is a worthy topic for another article.