Multi-tasking seems like a great way to get a lot of things done. For myself, I know that I try to juggle many different tasks in a day, and sometimes I don’t seem like I’ve accomplished anything by the end of the day. However, are our brains equipped to handle multiple tasks at a time? Multi-tasking seems like a great way to get a lot of things done. Yet, some research has suggested that multi-tasking can reduce our productivity by 40%. Did you know with all of the multi-tasking that we do it is likely to take a toll on our mental health? I know I continue to beat the self-care drum as we need reminders to make ourselves a priority.
My environment continues to be disruptive, with the phone ringing, message alerts, likes and comments, and co-workers emailing about things that are wrong at the job. In my opinion, this is designed in my life to get me to do more work and spend less time to be mentally present at home. All these distractions result in multi-tasking switching from one event to another, or one crisis to another. How can we begin to find the balance to stop multi-tasking where you are not completely exhausted by the end of the day.
Many days I wonder why I was so tired, soon I realize that multi-tasking also known as switch tasking was depleting all of my energy resources. You know that this is not a good way to get things done, yet the demands for our attention exist and our productivity reduces. What can we do to be more productive in our lives and find balance by minimizing multi-tasking? Below I wanted to share some tips that I started to incorporate into my life, I’m still a work in progress. However, I have found that I am not trying to juggle as many tasks as I have before by making these changes.
Ways to find balance, increase productivity without multi-tasking
Plan Your Day – When you don’t have a plan, this is when your day will plan you. It is difficult to stay focus on what needs to be done first when you don’t have a plan. When you have a plan your brain knows exactly what is want to accomplish and subconsciously prepares you to focus on the task at hand. You are less likely to be distracted and will minimize the need to multi-task.
Focus On One Task At A Time – It is difficult to focus on one task at a time when you are use to juggling multiple things. The benefit of focusing on one task at a time is making fewer mistakes at home and work. You will get more done and feel less tired at the end of the day. Make a list of things that you would like to get done, begin at the top and don’t start another task until the first one is completed.
Learn To Say No – Saying No does not mean that you are being rude. However, it does mean that you are not committing to things that you can not do, or you are simply delaying saying yes. Often times I have found that I may have said Yes to someone without really thinking about it. Later to discover that I have used an absorbent amount of energy trying to figure out how to get out of the commitment. By delaying your response allows you the opportunity to think about it, rather than having you worry if you will have the time to commit to another task.
Getting Enough Rest– Throughout my blog, I talk often about getting enough rest. When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist things that can take away your attention. You will find your mind wandering, less focused and this is a sign for you to give your brain a rest. When you rest well your brain is fully recharged and ready to focus for the day.
Every once in a while we are required to multi-task, just as I was writing my 16-year-old son walked in and begin to talk about what he needs for the day, and my phone has sent me some alerts. So here I am finishing up this last bit of my blog post. Sometimes, it’s impossible to resist a little multi-tasking.