We’ll let you into a secret. If you want to get stuff done, multitasking isn’t the way forward. Sure, it’s good to find ways to tick off your to-do list, but there’s no such thing as multitasking. The brain simply can’t focus on more than one thing at once. There’s a reason that old adage ‘more haste, less speed’ exists – it’s because trying to switch attention quickly can lead to mistakes. If you run your own business that can prove costly.
If your to-do list is as long as your arm, here’s how to make a dent in it:
- Thing about what you need to get done. Make a list of what you’d like to achieve and then analyse it to see everything on it is really necessary – ditch a task if you don’t really need to do it – who said you have to do everything anyway? Alternatively, think about outsourcing activities that aren’t crucial to your business forward and that take your time and attention away from what’s really important. (Hello! Step forward Pängels!)
- Deal with one thing at a time. Plan to set aside some time to really focus and pay attention to the task at hand. Turn off your phone, switch off Facebook alerts and actually get down to some work. Allow a realistic time to work on the task – if it’s big or tricky you might need to break it down into smaller tasks and deal with them separately. And don’t, forget, allow a little extra time, because things always take longer than you’re expecting.
- Be prepared and plan ahead. You can never be sure whether your best friend will call for a chat just when you’ve reached a critical part of the task (although don’t forget, you’ve switched your phone to mute!). More usefully, think about when you could be out and about. If you have lots of reading to catch up on, then think about whether you could bookmark articles on your phone or tablet to work through when your kids are at the dentist, or you’re waiting for your car MOT, or ….you get the picture.
So, the art of multitasking isn’t really that hard, it’s more about knowing what’s important, allowing time to get it done and planning ahead. Follow these steps and you’ll be achieving great things.
And if you need some help to get started, give us a call at Pängels on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0844 5007 818. We love to get cracking on a good to-do list!