Feb 10, 2009

7 Reasons to Avoid Mismanaging Time With Multi-Tasking

Time management the great illusion. Often we talk about managing our time as if it were as simple as following steps one two three, and I guess in some ways it is. We all know, you can't get back loss time. So in an effort to get more done on any given day you may decide multi-tasking is the answer. But this leads to mismanaging time and causes stress.

Do you think you can get three things done at once? If you do you'd have better think again. Any attempt to do so is foolhardy. Attempting to do too many task at the same time equals disaster in the form is mistakes, confusion not to mention the excessive stress and anxiety of trying to keep 3 balls in the air at the same time.

7 reasons to avoid multi-tasking time mismanagement

1. Attempting to complete several tasks or projects at the same time, causes overwhelm and incomplete projects
2. Thinking of more than one project at any given time causes errors and misjudgement
3. It causes fatigue and frustration at what you may feel as lack of "real" progress
4. Frequently causes a cluttered desk and a cluttered mind
5. Causes lack of creativity as you attempt to keep tasks sorted in your own mind there is no room for creativity
6. Projects take longer because of lack of focus
7. Causes you to feel more stressed and anxious

Here are a few ways to be more effective with the time you do have.

Brain dump by writing everything down. Once it's written on paper begin to transfer the tasks onto a calendar. Write it in pencil so you can make changes easily. Keep a small notebook nearby. Instead of trying to remember everything that needs to be done write it in your notebook for safekeeping. Maintain one calendar combining your work and personal events and tasks to be sure nothing is forgotten. As tasks are completed use a yellow marker to highlight the task indicating it was completed. If you find you're not able to complete a task on a specific date re-write the task on a new date.

If you find you have moved the task to 3 different dates because it was not completed, decide if the task is important, do you need to complete it or should it be placed as part of a longer term commitment. Finally, decide if your procrastinating and if you are, figure out why and make a decision as to what to do about it.

Is the job too big? How about breaking it down into smaller pieces. Often, the reason we find we can't complete a task is because the task seems enormous and we become overwhelmed. The best way to break down the project is to list all the components of the task. For instance if the task is to clean the bedroom then list all the areas of the bedroom that need attention. For each component list the subcomponents - in this case list what specifically needs to be cleaned. In this case you'll find cleaning the bedroom become easy because as you complete the tasks on you list you'll find cleaning the bedroom becomes easy as you tackle one area at a time.

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