Ah, multitasking. In our quest as moms to do it all and be it all, we are constantly doing everything at once. And, we are always seeking new ways to get more things done more quickly by managing our time better and improving our multitasking.
But here’s the truth, the best way to improve your productivity is to simply stop multitasking.
Why? Because, multitasking is bad for you. It actually makes you less productive.
Does this sound familiar?
You have one hour to cook dinner.
- You google what to fix for dinner. (10 minutes)
- You watch a video that shows you how to make a delicious lasagna. (5 minutes)
- Your kid comes in and asks a question about his homework. (10 minutes)
- You forgot you needed to swtich the laundry so you go do that quickly. (15 minutes)
- You return to the kitchen, back to your lasagna video, and think your friends might like it so you post it facebook. (5 minutes)
- You decide to check your Instagram notifications (5 minutes)
- You get an email alert from the office (10 minutes)
- Crap! It’s already been an hour and you haven’t fixed dinner.
Where did that hour go? Time to order dinner in.
While switching from task to task, you really got nothing done.
Why Multitasking Is Killing Your Productivity & More
Multitasking is deceiving. You think you are being more efficient and getting more things done at once. In reality, however, you are less efficient because you aren’t actually doing multiple things at once, instead you are forcing your brain to quickly shift from task to task, which is known as context switching.
News flash: Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time.
Your brain has a finite amount of attention and productivity. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to do them both successfully. You actually waste your brains’ capacity on the act of switching gears. Plus, you never fully get in the zone of for either task, which can lead to more mistakes.
Beyond the impact on your brain, multitasking stresses you out.
Occasionally, I’ll get the brilliant idea to put on a movie for my kids, sit with them on the couch while they watch and I write. It seems like a nice thought, but what ends up happening is I am constantly interrupted by requests for popcorn and milk, or a commentary on the movie. Or, god forbid, laughing.
I end up getting completely irritated and yelling at my kids because I cannot focus. I get stressed out. I am trying to be efficient by multitasking work and togetherness, rather than blocking separate times for writing and hanging with the kids.
Do you feel me?
Which leads me to another victim of multitasking … your relationships.
Put down your phone yo’ and pay attention to the person in front of you for 10 minutes. You will all be better off.
How To Stop Multitasking
Mama, if you want to get more things done in your day and carve some time out for yourself, one of the best ways to start on that path is to simply stop multitasking.
But, just how do you stop? It seems impossible right?
Here are my best three methods to stop multitasking and improve my productivity.
- Tune Out. Mom, you need to turn off your phone. Or at least, all of your notifications. You can only stop being distracted by stopping your distractions.
- Time Block. Block the required time you need to get a task done. Then sit down (without your phone notifications on), focus, and get done.
- OHIO. If you can get at ask done in 5 minutes or less, then OHIO. “Only Touch It Once.” Get it done! Do not reread that email 10 times before crafting your reply. Just once!
Just these three simple changes will immediately increase your productivity and leave you feeling calmer, mom. It’s time to put an end to your multitasking.