Multitasking is inefficient! It’s a counter intuitive truth for many of us in our personal time management and the way our business works. Here are few thoughts.
Multitasking yourself: taking on multiple tasks at the same time means we are continuously shifting our attention from one thing to another. Have you ever been writing a report whilst checking your inbox and responding to text messages? It’s called “continuous partial attention” and causes superficial understanding, boredom and impatience. It also wastes time and so energy as each time we switch attention between tasks we need to sort out our brains and get back up to speed.
So what to do for you? well, try to do one thing at a time, schedules small, 20 minute, blocks of time to focus on single tasks, turn off the email and phone, find quiet areas if possible to work on important work and finally collect your “don’t forget” thoughts on a notebook or try Evernote to consider another time.
Have you ever felt like everybody in the business is rushing around doing their stuff but it doesn’t feel joined up? If you are the owner then you may feel you’re constantly coordinating people, pointing them in the right direction or just doing some of the stuff yourself. All this leads to inefficiency.
So what to do for the business? The key words are Focus and Clarity. In fact a leading improvement consultant, Karen Martin, had the best tip – if there was just one thing you could focus on, it would be Focus! So would you like your workforce focussed on what is important, applying itself with clarity in delivering it? here’s a few tips:
That should give you a more manageable list to work with. A second round of prioritising could take each initiative and score it for:
Then draw up the list in scored order and decide how far down the list you can sensibly go. The debate and review at both stages will strengthen the prioritisation and drive greater focus and clarity of what the business has to do. And that might be the end of inefficient multitasking!