Just Say No To Multitasking: Why And How

You’re returning calls, posting to social media, scanning email and updating your calendar all at the same time.

Multitasking. You have to, right?

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There are just way too many things to get done today and not enough time for them all. You are a frazzled and cannot take one more distraction in your day or your head is going to explode!

Multitasking is the only way you’ve ever done it, and it’s working so far, huh? Probably so. Yeah, about that . . .

Something is going to go terribly wrong. A ball is going to get dropped somewhere. You’ll put the wrong date in your calendar for that doctor’s appointment. You’ll send that email to the wrong client. And you’ll probably copy a wrong hyperlink, leave off the attachment or have massive typos in that social media or blog post you were working on.

Wanna know how I know all this? I’ve been there.

(insert lots of embarrassing stories here)

So just say no to multitasking. Like for real. It just does not work. We think we can do it all. We think we can trick the system and get more done by doubling up on tasks. In reality research shows that we aren’t multitasking at all. We are switch-tasking, and we are far less productive because of it.

Here’s what I’ve learned by practicing not multitasking:

  1. I am much more present with my family and friends. By not doing multiple things at the same time I can actually relax and engage with what is going on around me.

  2. My stress level has decreased. It’s a relief to not have to keep all the plates spinning at one time. I can relax and just get one task done at a time. Who knew?!

  3. I make significant progress on large projects. By not allowing distractions to take priority I can actually focusing on one thing at hand. Because of that I can complete thoughts, work through challenging problems, and make lots of headway on larger projects - at home and in the studio.

So how do we learn to only focus on one thing at a time?

  1. Get rid of the distractions. Put your phone on “do not disturb”. Turn off all notifications. Put it in another room if you have to. Our phones can be our worst enemies for getting things done. Close extra browser tabs on the computer (umm, facebook) and only have the ones open you actually need to get your task completed.

  2. Set a deadline. It’s amazing how much we can get done when there’s a deadline, huh? Every now and then I will pretend like I am leaving for vacation the next day (I wish). You know how much you can get done before you are leaving to go out of town, right? It’s ridiculous how productive we can be! Why can’t everyday be like that?!

  3. Set a timer. Turn phone to do not disturb. Work for 15 minutes straight. Walk around for 5 minutes. Get a drink of water. Repeat. Short bursts are really good for focus too!

  4. Get a little help from essential oils. Focusing can be easier for some than others. Raising my hand here y’all! We use essential oils in our home and studio and love that we can diffuse them to focus on the task at hand. So if you’re into that sort of thing you can head here to find out more :)