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Quit Multitasking to Get More Done

Are you a multitasker? 👩‍💻✍️📱

Put down the phone and read this right now. It just might save your life (or at least significantly free up some stress).

You really DON’T get more done when you multitask. I know it may seem like it, but many studies have proven otherwise. Yet, we keep doing it (some of us).

We’re master jugglers, so we think adding one more ball to the mix won’t hurt. “It’ll be fine!” — Famous last words.

Until everything comes crashing down around you.

You’re missing deadlines.

You’re forgetting important tasks.

You run out the door without pants (okay maybe that one’s just me).

You don’t have to struggle like this. You may feel like you’re doing too much when the real problem is you’re doing TOO MUCH at ONE TIME.

I used to be a chronic multitasker. I thought being busy all the time was a sign that I was getting a lot done. What it really meant is that I had a TON of started projects, but nothing completed.

I would get distracted by one thing or the other, as my brain fought to focus on just one.

You see, the brain is not meant to multitask (despite what you may have heard before).

A 2013 study says, “Multitasking poses a major challenge in modern work environments by putting the worker under cognitive load. Performance decrements often occur when people are under high cognitive load because they switch to less demanding — and often less accurate — cognitive strategies.” *

Basically, doing more than one tasks at a time leads to impairment in at least one of those tasks.

But… but… I hear your excuses coming. You have so much to do. How will you ever get it all done?

So, what’s a super busy bee to do? 🐝

First, you need to understand WHY you multitask. Most people do it because it gives the impression you are getting more done. Yeah, you’re looking like a rockstar over there with your 56 browser tabs open, your three computers running for their lives, AND your phone mastering multiple apps at once.

You must be someone SUPER important!

This is, sadly, just an illusion.

The more you try to do at once, the less you are actually going to get done. Instead, you need to prioritize your tasks and work on them one at a time.

So, the next thing you can do is list your tasks for the day in order of importance. Then, you’re going to go down your list one at a time and focus only on ONE until it is complete.

Mark it as done ✔️ and then you can move on.

I recommend doing the most difficult task first for two reasons:

1. You get it done while you are still fresh with energy

2. It can be very motivating to get that difficult task completed

Don’t Overbook

It’s also important not to overbook yourself. Chronic overbookers are famous for multitasking like pros (trust me, I know). Be HONEST with yourself about how much you can complete in a day.

Sure, emergencies come up — I have five kids, I know all about this — but on a normal day, you should be taking only enough tasks that you know you can complete in a reasonable time, while still allowing for family time and self-care.

If you’re overbooking your own schedule, that’s another issue altogether and I’ll provide some tips on that soon. But in short, you need to stop.

You’ll work yourself to death and still never feel caught up.

So, to recap:

🔹Don’t overbook your schedule

🔹Do only ONE task at a time (Close those tabs — I SEE you!)

🔹Prioritize your daily to-dos

🔹Do your hardest task first and get it out of the way

🔹Move through your to-do list like a BOSS

🔹Win!

That’s truly it, guys. Cut the multitasking and you WILL get more done. Have a fantastic day!

*Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23575598