Know Yourself

Confessions of a Multitask-aholic

Hi. My name is Kirsten, and I’m a multitask-aholic.

I tried to kick the habit. I even interviewed Dave Crenshaw, bestselling author and industry expert on multitasking. Even though Dave’s message—that multitasking actual wastes your time—makes logical sense, I’ve stayed stuck in my multitasking ways.

Call it a weakness. Call it a guilty pleasure. But I still get a rush from getting a bunch of stuff done in a frenzy of multitasking madness. A bit manic? Perhaps. But I decided to stop fighting against my natural craving to have a hundred things flying in a thousand different directions all at once. Rather, I decided to capitalize on it and strengthen it. I’ve found a few strategies that have increased my productivity and may increase yours, too. Don’t call it multitasking – call it tiered execution.

  1. Make a list. To-do lists (another obsession I’ll save for another post) are a fabulous way to increase productivity. I clear my head by taking the jumbled thoughts, ideas and tasks that are rolling around chaotically in my mind and organize them neatly on a sheet of paper or on the computer (I use Google Docs and iGoogle as my organization mainstays).
  2. Accountability. Get an accountability partner. I meet with mine every morning for about 5 or 10 minutes to check in and commit to each day’s tasks. This has helped me achieve more than I thought possible—all by holding my feet to the fire when I needed it.
  3. Time Yourself. In his book The 4-Hour Workweek,  Timothy Ferriss states that people perform best working with a deadline. Ever experienced bursts of creativity during last-minute panic while finishing a project? Focus Booster (a free timer app for Mac and PC) is a great way to give yourself micro deadlines.

Micro deadlines are an effective strategy for tapping into your right brain creativity (and temporarily shutting down analysis paralysis). We teach authors how to utilize micro deadlines to write an entire book outline in 60 minutes. Try working in focused 20 minutes bursts to maximize your productivity.

As work-at-home-mother and entrepreneur, focused productivity is not an option. Making lists, having an accountability partner and setting micro deadlines are my multitasking magic wand for getting things done.

Do you know what environment you work best in? I’d love to hear what works for you. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=582190671 Aldous Irving Jimenez-Echegoye

    Hi. My name is Al, and I’m a multitask-aholic.
    Thanks for sharing this Kirsten.  I sure will do all 3 of the list here.

    • Anonymous

      Welcome to the support group, Al :) Hope my suggestions help!

  • Dave Crenshaw

    Thanks for the mention, Kirsten. Please keep in mind there are more consequences to multitasking than just wasting time. See: http://www.davecrenshaw.com/multitasking-example/ and  http://www.davecrenshaw.com/multitasking-effects-on-relationships/ 

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