We moms tend to be the queens of multitasking. Obviously, I mean there is not really another option so it kind of comes with the job description of being a mom. With everything that needs to get done during a day, it´s simply impossible not to multitask. Cooking dinner, unloading the dishwasher and loading the washing machine for example goes in one turn in our kitchen. Giving the bichin a bath, plucking my eyebrows and finally applying some very needed body lotion is often the situation in the bathroom.
Obviously, these are the somewhat simpler tasks that allow for multitasking and that probably don´t need your full attention. However, there are some tasks that do require more focus in order to get them done in the most efficient and the best possible way. I have always been a big multitasker but since reading The ONE Thing I realized that I might actually be losing time when multitasking certain tasks. The concept is quite simple “if you chase two rabbits you will not catch either one” or “multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time”. When you try to do two things at the same time you can´t or won´t do both well. Which in my mind is not a huge issue when we talk about unloading the dishwasher while cooking (sorry, my priorities maybe) but it might be more of an issue than I initially thought when speaking of work in my case.
Do I lose focus because of multitasking?
So I decided I need a little challenge to shut off my multitasking-addiction for some tasks each day that need full focus. In my case, those are usually things I need to do for work or for example when writing a new blog post. For the work things, I tend to have 20 tabs open in my browser, with every incoming email or message via our work chat I usually take a quick peek, and I act on everything that comes to mind. If I suddenly think about that I still need to call the bank, I will call the bank there and then. If I think I still need to make a meal plan for this week for the groceries, I will start with that list. And writing a new blog post often gets combined with catching up on Grey´s Anatomy.
So yeah, although I usually get a lot done and consider myself very productive, according to The ONE Thing I am wasting a lot of time with my multitasking so let´s just say this “stop-multitasking” challenge is not completely uncalled for.
Do Not Disturb
So from now on I am going on “Do Not Disturb” mode when I need to get some done that requires focus. Each morning I choose 1 or 2 things from my to-do list that I will do in this new action mode. (Yes, just 1 or 2, I figured if I start small it´s more likely to work) For these tasks, I will completely disconnect, so my phone goes on flight mode and my laptop gets disconnected from Wi-Fi so at least I can´t do anything with the 20 open browser tabs, won´t be notified of incoming emails and can´t be reached via phone or work chat. I put a timer to make sure that I enter the connected world again after an hour (can´t really be unreachable the whole day right?) and honestly, since I completely focus on that task I hardly need the full hour to get the task at hand done.
Speaking of that timer, I always used e.ggtimer.com but obviously, that´s not really possible anymore without WiFi so now I put a silent alarm on my Fitbit.
Let´s see how this little challenge is going to work out for someone with a multitask-addiction and if I can really make it stick as a new habit! Stay tuned…
How do you ensure you keep your focus?
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