Don't Even Think About
Multi-Tasking These Activities
As we try
to balance all of our responsibilities, we don't just feel the urge to
multi-task, we believe it is NECESSARY.
Unfortunately, we aren't as good at multi-tasking as we might believe. Significant research now strongly indicates
that when we multi-task we are less efficient and deliver mediocre results at
best. Sure, we are perfectly competent
at folding laundry while talking on the phone, but many other activities
require our full attention in order to have the desired outcome. Here are some tasks that are best not
and using your phone for calls or texting
This is one
of the most dangerous things you can do. If you need convincing, watch this: http://bit.ly/7jCi80
and reading email during phone conversations
Do you really think we don't know that you're emailing while you're talking to
us? Even if we don't hear the "tap tap
tap" of the keyboard, we certainly notice your hesitation as you stumble to
respond to what we said. Not giving
someone your full attention is impolite and sends the message that they aren't
worthy of your time. In addition,
combining these two activities may lead to the ultimate email faux pas: using
the "Reply All" button accidentally. Now
that makes you think, doesn't it?
Any CORE work activity with something else
Whether writing a report or planning a budget, fully concentrating on your
project will allow you to finish the task in less time and deliver a better
result. So turn off your phone, don't
check email, and let others know that you shouldn't be interrupted.
and checking email messages while in a meeting
Unless you're a cardiac surgeon waiting for word that a heart is ready for transplant,
there probably aren't many compelling reasons why you need to use your
BlackBerry during a meeting. When you
are distracted with your device, you miss important information and lose
valuable opportunities to contribute. If
the meeting is truly that irrelevant to your work, have a conversation with
your manager about whether you can skip it.
Watching TV while having a family conversation
It won't matter much if you miss a plot twist in your favorite TV show, but it will be significant if you fail to notice that your child is sharing something of
real importance with you. Use your
judgment to decide if the TV gets turned off or if the discussion can be
delayed for 30 minutes; just don't try to do both concurrently- your
relationships deserve your full attention.
Faun Zarge helps people find solutions for their work-life challenges.
She offers her practical, realistic strategies through a wide variety of highly interactive and engaging seminars. Please feel free to contact Faun directly to discuss how she might help your organization.