The ability to multi-task used to be considered a positive. It could be listed as a strength on a resume or called out as a valuable trait in a job interview. But all evidence points to multi-tasking as a fast path to failure.
Researchers estimate we lose 28 percent of our work day to multi-tasking and ineffectiveness, according to Gary Keller’s book, The One Thing.
It turns out, those of us who work at computers change screens and go back and forth to email 37 times an hour. That’s a lot of wasted time. And that’s just how multi-tasking can affect us in the workplace. Not to mention the serious research that says multi-taskers experience more life reducing, happiness squelching stress!
Stop causing life reducing and happiness squelching stress. It’s simply not worth it.
For the longest time, my ability to juggle a million things at once was a point of pride for me. Eventually I realized my results were lackluster and I had to make a change.
So I began “segmenting” my time.
- Break each activity you are doing into a segment. Then tackle those activities one segment at a time. Don’t answer your phone, don’t return text messages, don’t even check emails, until you’re ready for those segments.
- Develop patterns. Depending on your schedule and lifestyle, it helps to keep your segments routine. The people in your life will start to learn your patterns, and stop calling you during times you have segmented for other tasks.
- Set a time limit for each segment, or commit to completing each segment before you continue to the next.
- Enjoy your free time. When you complete your segments, move on. That means, when all of your work-related segments are done, shut down for the day. Your friends and family will appreciate that you segment quality time to spend with them too – phone and computer free.
- To take segmenting one step further, set an intention for each segment and then imagine your desired outcome. When you know the goal, and surround it in positivity, you are more likely to see yourself succeed.
My mentor introduced me to segmenting, and it has transformed my life. I am more productive at work, more intentional with my family, and have more quality time with my friends. If you have strategies that make you more productive or your time more meaningful, we want to hear about them!
Share your tips with us in the comments, on social media, or email them to our community director at email@example.com.