We’re moms. Multitasking is as natural as running our business with a child on our hip while getting our kids to do chores. We multitask all day, every day. As we navigate this thing called motherhood, we fall into the daily traps of trying to do it all, at the same time.
A child comes home from school and we need to cook dinner. As we start dinner, we realize the floor needs to be mopped. When we check our child’s homework, we realize there are toys on the floor. Instead of leaving them alone, we jump to it. It’s all gotta get done somehow.
Yet an hour later, dinner is a little overdone, the kids are crying and you certainly wouldn’t pay yourself for your quick mop job.
What if you approached it differently? We are so well versed in multitask mode, we forget there is another way to do it.
- You’re not multi-tasking, you’re task switching.
You are stopping one task to start another, often losing some progress during the switch and up to 40% of your productivity.
- Your brain is juggling non-stop.
Instead of being able to focus on the task at hand, you’re always thinking about the other tasks that need to done. This constant cycle is stressful and non-productive. You’re constantly keeping balls in the air, never allowing one to drop. Of course, a terrible side effect of this is overeating. Do you want to get fat?
- You’re not good at it and it stresses everyone else out too.
By trying to keep all of these balls in the air, you often expect others to do the same or expect them to know what’s going on as you switch tasks. This adds to chaos in your life and nobody’s happy about.
- You’re never “in the moment”.
Even something as simple as taking a picture can have you miss important moments as you pull out your phone or camera, get the camera to open and find the right settings. Now consider if you’re doing something that requires some real brain work.
Additional points in Health.com.
How to do it differently?
- Do one thing at a time.
- Make a list of to-dos so you can remember to go back.
My favorite list app is Wunderlist.
- When you start to feel stressed, assess your situation and see if something could be done later.
- Don’t double book.
Don’t expect that you can do X while you do Y, unless they are definitely doable.
- Don’t be afraid to say no.
- Don’t be afraid to let some things go.
- Ask for help.
You don’t have to do it all. No, the other person won’t do it the way you do it, but it’s ok. It will get done.
What other tips can you provide those who try to multitask all the time?