This blog post is written by guest contributor, Jeff Davidson, "The Work-Life Balance Expert®".
When an airline flight is canceled and people rush to the reservation desk and scramble to catch the next plane or some other connection, does the gate agent attempt to take on five or ten people at a time? No. He or she looks at the computer and handles a particular customer's rerouting, looking up only sparingly. The attendant is not fazed by a 20-person line because it is clearly only possible to move through it one customer at a time.
If you can continually hone and refine your powers of concentration you'll do a better job and have more time at the end of the day. Both your productivity and your peace of mind will improve.
Attempting to multi-task may offer some temporary psychological benefits. In the short run, it can help reduce anxiety as the practitioner erroneously believes he is saving time. In the long run, it contributes to greater anxiety: one comes to believe that there are no options for making it through the day without "doubling up" on activities. If you notice yourself falling into behavior patterns that resemble computerized multitasking, try these solutions:
- When you are writing or reading, do not stay engaged with Instant Messenger, the internet, or any other computerized distractions.
- Take a 15-minute break once during the morning and once in the afternoon.
- Don't eat at your desk. Get away so you can recharge your battery.
- Wisely invest in equipment or technology that provides a significant return. Seriously consider any item that saves at least two hours a week of your time.
- Focus on the big picture of what you are trying to accomplish. This will allow new solutions to emerge and activities that seem urgent to be viewed from a broader perspective.
Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" whose passion is helping organizations achieve rapid progress for their employees or members. The premier thought leader on work-life balance issues, Jeff is the author of 65 books, among them "Breathing Space," "Dial it Down, Live it Up," "Simpler Living," the "60 Second Innovator," and the "60 Second Organizer." Visit www.BreathingSpace.com or call 919-932-1996 for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars.
- Managing the Pace with Grace®
- Achieving Work-Life Balance™
- Managing Information and Communication Overload®