Time management is important, and productivity is at a premium – why not multitask?
Multitasking works against you for activities requiring focus. Tests performed by the American Psychological Association in Washington D.C. conclusively prove:
Each time you switch your attention, you will lose ground. The more complex or unfamiliar the task, the harder it is for your brain to make the transition. The more often you switch, the more time you lose, and the more stress you generate.
A half second delay can kill you . Only a half second of time lost to multitasking can mean the difference between life and death when you text message or use a cell phone while driving. That is all the time it takes for a car not completely under your control to travel far enough to crash.
With all complex tasks, multitasking wastes time even when it appears to increase efficiency.
Fortunately, there are time management techniques for increasing productivity that work in harmony with how the brain functions. They are excellent stress management techniques, as well.
These 3 Essential Time Management Techniques Work Better Than Multitasking:
#1: Task Templates: Create outlines of complex but repetitive tasks for speedy reference. Don’t waste energy relying on your memory or reinventing the wheel. Use task templates and watch your productivity soar.
Jot down projects that need templates as you think of them. The more you work from templates, the more uses you will find for them
#2: To Do Lists: Prioritize in advance, and label accordingly. Remember to list tasks in small, workable chunks.
Only include what you can realistically accomplish for each day. You can use a weekly to-do list for the remainder of tasks. Then, at the end of each day, review and adjust the lists.
#3: Boundaries: Create times you do not want to be disturbed in order to work on complex projects. To fully protect this time, call on others’ support in advance to protect your interruption-free time.
Learn to use each of these powerful tools effectively and consistently. Incorporate them into your daily routine. By enhancing your focus and productivity with templates, to-do lists, and boundaries, you enjoy additional benefits from stress reduction.
What other ways can you start improving your life today by making the most of your time?© Copyright 2009 Paula Eder, Ph.D.