How many times have you finished a two hour work session only to wonder what you’ve accomplished? You remember starting out on a project and before you were done you were on something completely different. Worse, the job you started out to do is still undone. I know how frustrating this can be because I’ve done it countless times myself. I have found a way to combat this and I’d like to share it with you.
Multi-Tasking Is A Myth
First of all, let me disabuse you of the notion that so-called “multi-tasking” really accomplishes anything. Studies have already found that people who think they are working on five things at once are not doing any of them any favors. Usually, the whole system perpetuates having to revisit and revisit and revisit projects that could have been completed in a small fraction of the time. All the person needed to do was quit deluding themselves into believing more activity equals more accomplishment.
It simply isn’t so.
My honest opinion is the multi-tasking myth was created by people who had a ton of stuff to do but were too overwhelmed to start any of it. So, they made themselves feel like they were accomplishing something by getting in the middle of as much stuff as they could. In the end, all of it suffered including the human.
Simple Steps To Success
So, how do you keep yourself from getting sucked into the time-wasting, project extending, quality destroying vortex that lack of focus brings? Here are some simple rules that will make a huge improvement in your workflow and sense of accomplishment.
- Start with only one task in mind.
- Don’t veer off course until you get to a stopping point or an impasse you can’t move past.
- If you find yourself trying to solve a piece of a project for more than 10 minutes, move onto the next task. Return to it no sooner than the next day.
- Look up from your work constantly and ask yourself “Is this what I started to accomplish?” If the answer is no, get back to the original task.
It Can’t Be That Easy
I know you’re saying that none of this is ground-breaking or earth-shattering. You know what? You’re right. You know what else? Rarely is the solution to a problem really that complicated. We only make it that way so we can feel it’s worth the time we’re wasting on it.
If you try these four tips every time you sit down to accomplish a task you’ll find your projects staying on track and getting completed in much less time. You’ll also find your brain is more creative because you’re not lost in a multi-tasking cloud.
Are you lost in a cloud? Let me hear from you and how you escaped.