In our approach to Project Management, multitasking is one of the most radical changes necessary because Critical Chain requires focussing on one task until it is completed. People think that by hopping from one task to another they are being more “efficient” and getting more done. This is pure illusion because every time we switch task we pay a price in losing focus and adding set up time for the new task.
In today’s post we reference a blog post from Simon Jacobson who talks about Mindful Multitasking. This is from his Meaningful Life Center. We couldn’t agree more.
This is how to multitask mindfully:
- Consider why you are multitasking. Must you multitask, or are you reactively multitasking due to anxiety and/or outside pressure? Make a conscious decision to multitask. Multitask with intention and purpose.
- Set clear goals for what you must accomplish by multitasking. What is your ultimate mission for each task? When will you know that a task has been completed? Prioritize which tasks must get done first, and which ones can be done later.
- Recognize that effective multitasking is not doing two things at once. It is focusing on one task at a time. Set your focus on the first task. When outside demands require you to focus on the second task, leave the first task in a place where you can return to it and resume activity. Then shift your focus completely to the second task.
Understanding the nature of focus, and building up your ability to focus, is the key to successful multitasking. Focus of time is closely related to focus of energy. You have to be interested in what you are doing in order to focus on it. One advantage of mindful multitasking is that it allows you to set a short time aside for tasks that you do not enjoy, knowing that you will soon be switching tasks to one that you prefer. If you can focus well on the tasks that you enjoy doing, your focused energy will spill over into the tasks that you do not like doing.
Copyright © 2017 The Meaningful Life Center, All rights reserved.
We’d like to thank Simon Jacobson for featuring our blog post Leaders for Transformation: The Power of Breakthrough on his website last year.
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About the Author
Angela Montgomery Ph.D. is Partner and Co-founder of Intelligent Management and author of the business novel+ website The Human Constraint . This downloadable novel uses narrative to look at how the Deming approach and the Theory of Constraints can create the organization of the future, based on collaboration, network and social innovation. She is co-author with Dr. Domenico Lepore, founder, and Dr. Giovanni Siepe of ‘Quality, Involvement, Flow: The Systemic Organization’ from CRC Press, New York.