Yep, multi-tasking is ruining your business! Take it from me, a former “master multi-tasker! I was pretty sure I could manage all the “open tabs” on the computer, life and my brain! But, nope, multi-tasking was actually causing me to be less productive in business and mom life.
Picture this scene: On the phone making a dentist appointment for the kids, while responding to emails, and answering Facebook messages and building a Lego tower with the kids and scheduling social media content, with 56 browser tab open in Chrome with an active project on them all. Phew, that is exhausting to just read, let alone live it!
The sad part was, I felt like I was doing a rock star job at all of them. But, the overwhelm and anxiety of #allthethings stressed me out. I drank more coffee, went to bed later, either barely ate or overeat at meals and was not always the most compassionate mom or wife! This ultimately led to some burnout and because I was balancing too many hats at the same time.
My passion for my business, my clients’ businesses, my family, and friends did not dwindle. The fire was still there, but, the anxiety was weighing me down.
Not knowing how to release the weight, I took a whole weekend off – no content writing, no email, no social media – NOTHING. I spent the weekend with self-reflection and personal development.
During that time, I read an article that stated – “when we multitask, we actually deplete our energy stores a LOT faster. This is because we are actually never doing two activities at the same time, but actually quickly switching back and forth between them”.
I realized that I was creating an environment that was causing the overwhelm and also increasing the time spent on each task to accomplish. So, it was time to find a solution.
Simple solution: Stop the multitasking! But, I needed some simple techniques to implement daily to increase my effectiveness and remove the stress of #allthethings.
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Here are my tips to stop the multi-tasking:
Practice time blocking. This is based on the idea that “instead of working by the clock, you can focus on finishing big and small tasks one at a time. This will help you limit distractions, get things done faster, and leave you less overwhelmed by lengthy to-do lists.” I basically chuck up my tasks and have a set time each week to work on these items. For example, every Friday at 2 pm, I work on content creation for social media.
Schedule your day. Every person’s motivation and productivity levels are different. I have found I am most productive in the afternoon and aim to get my high priority tasks or those that require more brain power and focus completed during this time. Find your “sweet spot” of time and schedule it in your calendar.
Kill the notifications. This was a big one for me (and still is). Those notifications and the red flag or date in Asana staring at me gives me anxiety. When I get a notification, I want to respond immediately. In order to avoid this, I log out of all social media and Gmail (computer/phone and tablet) until the times I have scheduled it in daily. This helps to eliminate distractions and allows me to get more work accomplished!
Take breaks. I used to avoid breaks, eat my lunch at the computer while networking or proofing content, the more I worked, the more I would accomplish, right? Wrong! From my experience the more breaks (short 10-15 minutes) the more productive I am when sitting in front of the computer. Go for a quick walk with your dog, do some yoga or stretch, have a dance party with your toddler. *Also, I have alarms set on my phone to remind me to take a break, otherwise, I would neglect it!
Once I implemented these, the anxiety disappeared quickly and I actually began to accomplish more each day and it actually felt like I had more time in my day!