If there were a hidden camera in my home office, you would notice me in front of a laptop with multiple internet tabs and Microsoft office documents opened, a powered on television, maybe something cooking in the kitchen, and a woman (me) constantly checking her cell phone for text messages, Facebook, and twitter updates. I am guilty of compulsively multi-tasking, but have decided to cut back.
According to Wikipedia, human multi-tasking is
“the performance by an individual of appearing to handle more than one task at the same time. The term is derived from computer multitasking. An example of multitasking is listening to a radio interview while typing an email. Some believe that multitasking can result in time wasted due to human context switching and apparently causing more errors due to insufficient attention.”
By reviewing how I schedule my time I am hoping to decrease my multi-tasking while still accomplishing multiple tasks in one day. I have noticed that I am more effective if I work on one single task at a time, even if it is in short spurts. For example, I may spend ten minutes looking at twitter and responding to messages then do the same on Facebook. I then spend the next thirty to forty minutes following up with business in one email account and do the same with my other email accounts in the time that follows.
I am still completing an ample amount of work, just more efficiently and with a greater sense of confidence in the final product. It has been pretty hard to stop checking my phone as frequently for text messages, but by keeping my ringer on silent it helps a little.
Please take a few minutes and let me know how you multi-achieve in the comment section.
Below is an article about the self-deceiving assumption of effective human multi-tasking.