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Posted by on Jun 1, 2010 in Multitasking, Organizing, Summer 2010 | 0 comments

Time to say NO to multitasking

Time to say NO to multitasking

“Multitasking? I can’t even do two things at once. I can’t even do one thing at once.” Helena Bonham Carter

By Cathy Mendler, A New Leaf

If I told you that you could gain an extra six weeks of time per year, would you believe me? Just being aware of the fact that multitasking reduces your productivity is a step in the right direction. If you’re overwhelmed, it’s time to stop and come up with a new plan. What can you do differently?

Chris Crouch, founder of the GO (Getting Organized) System tells us that when you multitask “you’re actually switching back and forth between tasks, and not doing several things at once.”

If you can block off 96 minutes of uninterrupted time each day and stay focused on your high priority tasks, you may be surprised what you can accomplish. “96 minutes happens to be 20 percent of an eight-hour workday.”

It’s next to impossible to completely eliminate multitasking from our busy lives. However, if you can reduce multitasking by just 20%, you can gain almost six weeks per year for other activities. A higher reduction in multitasking should produce even better results.

Try closing the door when you work; you’re less likely to be interrupted. Don’t answer the phone; let your answering machine take a message. Don’t check your e-mail. Turn off the
pop-up which notifies you every time you receive a new e-mail. Ask people to respect your request for no interruptions during a specified period of time.

Elizabeth Lengyel is a radio show host and the author of Getting Juiced About Your Life! How To Make Lasting Change Toward Work/Life Balance. Her 60-40-20 rule suggests blocking off chunks of time as follows:

  • 60 minutes – focused work time – no interruptions
  • 40 minutes – check e-mail, return phone calls, etc.
  • 20 minutes – take a break

Try one of the above suggestions for a month. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Life is stressful enough. Expect to make some adjustments. The key to success is figuring out what works for you and your particular situation. The end result will be worth the effort!

“Many people feel they must multitask because everybody else is multitasking, but this is partly because they are all interrupting each other so much.” Marilyn vos Savant.

Page 17, Summer 2010

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