From Multi-Task to Multi-Achieve

25 Apr
From Multi-Task to Multi-Achieve

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.


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7 responses to “From Multi-Task to Multi-Achieve

  1. K. SIDNEY

    April 27, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Women are better at multi-tasking than men. A moot point? Yes. Worth bringing up? Maybe…

    On some real ish though, people should really start scheduling “office hours” for their phone use, so that people will know when to call and when not to call. That way you’re not always interrupted by something that may not be worth your time. My hours are from 9 to 7. Any calls after that go str8 to voicemail and any txts after that don’t get answered unless it’s time sensitive.

    As for social networking, I’m only there in the morning and right before bed.

    • Ashley S.C. Walls

      April 27, 2011 at 9:37 am


      I like the phone office hours. I defintely think your scheduled hours should depend on the nature of your projects or activities that you have in progress. For example, when I work with volunteer committees, I realize that most people do not get off work until 5 or 6 so I schedule and expect meetings to be after that and that the work of that committee will continue into the nights on days those meetings are scheduled.

      I am learning that there is a difference between urgent and important and over the next few weeks, I plan to reorganize my schedule accordingly.

      I won’t really get into the male vs. female multi-tasking issue, I actually have not thought much about that, but will start observing. Also, if that is true, it may not be such a bad thing. Going back to my entry, I truly beleive multi-tasking (simultaneously executing more than one task) is over rated.

  2. K. SIDNEY

    April 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    That’s definitely a revelation that I think we all have as we get older and wiser.

  3. akmar nordin

    July 2, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    I learn from Darren Hardy – publisher for SUCCESS magazine that you should plan the day before what you need to achieve for that day/week. Spend an hour on things that are relevant to that mission you want to accomplish. Block out other things that will come in your way. Like phone calls — do not pick up phone calls between the time when you need to focus on your goals. Just leave it alone — they can wait…till you are done with whatever you are doing.

    I LOVE THE SUBJECTS you bring up Ashley — they are like my own personal check list that I may have inevitably left off. Keep it going girl. BTWN how’s your weight loss mission?

    • Ashley S.C. Walls

      July 3, 2011 at 8:35 am

      Thanks! And I definitely agree with the tactics you are using. It took a while for me to learn not to answer the phone, but doing so, has been the gateway for more effective time management.

      I appreciate your comments and your sharing! Please keep that up 🙂

      The weight loss is going better now that I went grocery shopping again. Once I started running low, I was eating all the wrong stuff. After the holiday I have to start a more aggressive plan


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