But I’ll tell you: take a few minutes and examine that rope of yours. Maybe it’s about to snap.
Too often, we pile on more work day after day, accepting new projects (because who else will do it if you don’t), adding more to your To Do list and trying desperately to keep everything running smoothly.
If you are in business for yourself or working more than one job to make ends meet, you know what the result of all this multi-tasking is: STRESS!
What can you do? Isn’t everybody stressed out these days? Doesn’t it come with the territory in our society?
Multi-tasking has its place. But I think it’s also got inherent problems if you overuse it.
- catch up on email and minor tasks while watching TV
- put away groceries, fold laundry or cook dinner while chatting on the phone with a friend
- brush your teeth while internally saying your morning prayer or meditation
- backup important files while you are working at your desk on mid-level tasks like bill-paying, working in your word processor, etc.
- clean house while listening to an MP3 seminar or personal growth recording
- Work on an important project while interrupting your concentration every few minutes to check email, answer the phone, open the mail, start that other project that was due last week
- Have a heavy-duty conversation with business associate or loved one while typing emails, blogging, Tweeting, checking out your Facebook account and the like
- Start and stop half a dozen time-consuming projects because you get started on one, only to decide to work on another one you think will take less time (result: nothing gets done)
You can readily see the difference. DO multi-task when you can take care of low-level items at the same time. DON’T multi-task when you have important work to do (including conversations that have a critical outcome) that other things will distract you from. Learn to put all your attention into the heavy-duty stuff on your list — do it, and get it done. Then move on to the next.
What I find helps a lot is to find that balance. Do a heavy duty project to get it out of the way. Then “reward” yourself with 15 minutes for catching up on email and social media, before you tackle your next project that requires your full attention. Trying to multi-task all the time, all day, every day, simply leads to burn out. Plus the quality of your work suffers.
Happy Labor Day to my readers in the USA!
your happiness guru,
PS Did you go to http://gethappytoday.com yet? Please do – my happiness book launch is 9/11