After reading Adam Weissman’s Blog from yesterday entitled, “Clowning Around Is Serious Business”, I wanted to take a moment and focus on an additional way to stay narrowed in on the task(s) at hand. Adam referred to an article that touched on taking breaks in order to keep your mind focused on your work. While his blog touched on the breaks in your workday, I would like to touch on the work that you do within your workday.
Multi-tasking is a difficult thing to do. Although you think you are multi-tasking, the brain seems to only truly focus its energy on one task at a time. I notice this most when I am reading. I’ve been reading a lot recently. While relaxing and kicking back with a good book, I often find myself reading a passage that will trigger a memory. Upon thinking of the memory, my eyes will continue to read the passage, floating through the words as if I am actually reading them. Although, when I finish my thought and look back at what I just read, I remember none of it. Work can be very much the same. The link to the article below uses an example of talking on the phone while sending an email. Your mind focuses on one, and then the other, and then back to the first. There is no way to have your brain listen to, and absorb, what your caller is saying while instructing your fingers to move to the right keys on the keyboard. Try it. You may think it works, but your brain is actually rapidly switching between the two tasks.
In multi-tasking, your mind is simply switching modes and allowing you to handle your responsibilities inefficiently. If you took the time to give each task/account/issue private one-on-one time with your brain, you would surely notice a couple things. 1) It may not take as long as you expected to finish each item, 2) The completed task will have been done more completely and detailed than you normally would have done, and 3) Your mental processes will seem far less scatterbrained than previously. By cutting out interruptions to your day, you will find that productivity increases and your day runs much smoother.
This article, written by Karen Sladick of Organize 4 Results explains the mind-set involved in this change. http://bit.ly/MxDtA2