Now this productivity derailer is actually quite sneaky because it’s one that appears to make you more productive. And for a long time I refused to believe any opinion that would tell me otherwise. Wanna know what it is?
If you’re a mama, you probably do this a lot. You cook dinner while your kid tells you about a story they just wrote. Or you talk on the phone while reading the mail. And it seems that you can do a lot more this way. But in reality, something is slipping through the gaps. Either you’re not fully paying attention to your kid’s story. Or you’re having to re-read the mail several times because Susie’s conversation about her waxing mishap is more engrossing.
The trouble is that when we try to multi-task this way we aren’t really using our brain to achieve two things. Our brains are switching from one thing back to the other continually. All the while backing up a little every time it switches back just to collect our thoughts on where we left off in each task. Multi-tasking this way in fact makes us slower. Think of it like trying to file your nails and knit at the same time!
There is a way to multi-task effectively
You can multi-task well if you do two tasks that don’t need your brain in the same way. So doing an automatic activity paired with a thinking activity can work well. Examples of this include listening to a podcast while you do the dishes. Or having a conversation while you drive.
If you brain can run one activity on autopilot, your brain is then free to focus it’s mental energy on something else. The trouble comes when we try to use our brains to do two tasks which both require our mental focus.
- Focus on one task at a time. Give tasks your full attention whenever you can. This may mean asking someone to speak to you in 10 minutes when you can give them your full focus. Or delegating jobs to other people so that you aren’t divided in your attention.
- Multi-task only when you are doing an autopilot activity like folding laundry, washing dishes or eating.
Multi-tasking isn’t alway productive. Only if one of the tasks you want to combine can be done on autopilot, then it’s best to do one task at a time and focus fully on each job so you can get them done quicker.
What jobs do you often multi-task on?
Other posts you may like:
- Things That Derail Your Productivity As A Mum – Part One
- Things That Derail Your Productivity As A Mum – Part Two
- One Thing That Rocketed My Productivity
- Secret Morning Energy Booster
- Making Over My Mornings