Do the holidays have you stressed out?
It’s the time of year when your calendar goes into overload. You need to maintain your normal schedule (which barely leaves time to breathe) while also finding time to buy a tree, decorate, buy presents, gift wrap, entertain family and friends and attend a host of holiday events.
It’s exhausting just thinking about it.
It happens every year and yet it seems to always catch us off guard. We convince ourselves that if we sleep a little less and work at little harder, we will be able to get it all done. We go into hyperdrive, doing 2 things at once in an attempt to get more done in 24 hours than is humanly possible. It’s usually a recipe for disaster.
Do you want to know how to accomplish more in less time?
Stop multi- tasking.
We live at a very fast pace. On an ordinary day we run from one task to the next with little or no break in-between. When that is not enough, we try to squeeze more in the day by doing several things at the same time. It seems logical that if you practiced multi-tasking long enough, you would get really good at it and save yourself all kinds of time.
Do you believe that you have become more efficient by multi-tasking?
You would be wrong.
When you try to do 2 things simultaneously you may get both tasks done correctly, but you would have gotten both of them done better, and in less total time, if you had done them one after the other instead of at the same time.
The reason for this is simple.
Even though it may feel like you are doing several tasks simultaneously, you are in fact not doing them at the same time. You are rapidly switching between them just like the juggler trying to keep all the balls in the air at the same time.
Doing several things at once is a trick we play on ourselves, thinking we’re getting more done. In reality, our productivity goes down by as much as 40%. We switch-task, rapidly shifting from one thing to another, interrupting ourselves unproductively, and losing time in the process.
I know some of you think you have gotten really good at juggling several things at once and that you are the exception to the rule. The studies tell a different story. Research shows that heavy multitaskers are less competent at doing several things at once then light multitaskers. In contrast to almost everything else in life, practice works against you.
The more you multitask, the worse you are at it!
If that is not reason enough for you to reconsider the way you structure your day, research shows that multi-tasking isn’t just inefficient, it’s stressful. So, give yourself a break today. Decide that you are not going to begin something new until you complete the task you started.
You might be surprised how relaxed and productive you will be when you accomplish more by doing less.
Give yourself the gift of serenity. Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day and do the most important things first.
Stay focused and on task and put the joy back into your holidays.