Focused Multitasking

Each of us has many roles to play in our lives.  We are a mother or father, wife or husband, boyfriend or girlfriend, sister or brother, friend, coach, etc. in our personal lives.  Now we are seeing an increase in the number of roles on our professional lives, as an example my current roles are:

  • Business Owner
  • Consultant
  • Sales person
  • Marketer
  • College Instructor
  • Board Member
  • Chief Channel Officer
  • Subcontractor
  • Entrepreneur

In addition to these roles in many cases, we will have associated email accounts to help manage the communications within the role.  Right now I have seven different email addresses that I check regularly.

David Byrne once said in song “I got three passports, couple of visas Don’t even know my real name”.  Who knew how right he would be?  Obviously the volume of roles, responsibilities and actions for which we are responsible is increasing.  So how do we keep up with it all?

Focused Multitasking.  I am not recommending doing more than one thing at a time. Multitasking is enemy number one when it comes to accurate and speedy performance.  What I do recommend is focusing on the task at hand, complete it and then move to the next.  In order to do this, one must have a plan.  List out all of your roles and the actions required for success in the role.  Next prioritize the tasks into three buckets:

  1. Want to do it (significant gain)
  2. Must have to do it (prevents pain)
  3. Have to eventually do it (prevents pain)

Now look at all the number ones and prioritize based on your time and reasonably achieving such.  Add in the 2s and 3s based on due dates and you have a plan!  Adjust the plan daily.  What can be don e today? What rolled over from yesterday?  Take the tasks and schedule them on your calendar – while doing those tasks, avoid interruptions (email, text, phone calls, etc.)

There is a lot of detail to making this work for you, but it is an important reminder to build the habits that will increase your productivity and reduce your stress.

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