I was just talking to a friend the other day and had a great laugh when I ran down the list of everything I’d done before 11 am. And laughed even more when I said I wasn’t even half-way through my list of things to do!
So how did I get so much done before noon?
By doing one thing at a time! Now, I can mult-task with the best of them but I find that I am most productive when I do one thing at a time.
The trick: I have a bit of an agreement with myself that I call the “either/or” agreement. I don’t do multi-tasks at once but either this or that… not both. And I do it by time blocking.
What do I mean by “time blocking”? Well, I block out time to do recurring tasks and only do those things in that time slot – for example (1) check & respond to email, (2) work on client projects, (3) return phone calls, (4) check social media & check on marketing/networking avenues, (4) research/implement new stuff, etc. When I’m in the midst of completing one of these things… I don’t answer email, I don’t answer the phone, I am in a “do not disturb” zone and the only task allowed to enter the zone is the one whose name is on the time block. The only time I do multi-task is when the tasks are harmonious or if neither of the combo-tasks require my undivided attention: for example – #4 above – social media/marketing.
It has taken me quite a while to get into a rhythm and it’s an every evolving process for me but it is what works for me.
Do you single-task or multi-task?