How Multitasking Actually Hinders More Than It Helps
Being a multitasker and being good at multitasking is usually thought of as admirable and a good characteristic. Many of us can talk on the phone, cook dinner, and load the dishwasher all at the same time. What about at work? We could be emailing, on a conference call, filing a piece of paper and watching the markets go up and down all at the same time. Multitasking is a true art form and some people thrive on it. To do one thing may seem boring and may not keep us busy enough. I fall into this trap myself. On some days, I have gotten wrapped up in doing three or four different things all at once that, I have to stop myself and refocus to just finish one thing and move on. Being self aware of our multitasking is hard enough and not always so obvious.
As I’ve heard people vent or talk about their challenges in organizing, many of them mention they just can’t seem to finish or complete organizing so unfinished projects make things worse. It’s a trap they continue to fall into and a battle they never win while organizing. It’s not surprising because it’s very easy to get distracted and sidetracked while organizing. Organizing poses many opportunities to get off track because there are many components and facets to an organizing project. My organizers and I often joke about this while organizing. We recognize the pattern in each other, because we’ll get so busy into organizing, that we, as a team, open up lots of organizing projects and bounce back and forth between them all at once. We laugh and comment about finishing up one thing at a time. We never leave a mess or leave something unfinished but it’s funny that even organizers struggle with it.
I’d like you to try to look at multitasking a little differently. Try decreasing the amount of multitasking you do and see if it changes anything in your work or home life. In reality, multitasking takes away from the art of prioritizing different tasks or commitments in our lives. Only under extreme pressure or a firm deadline, do we attempt to cut everything out and focus on one thing. Instead of bowing to pressure or a deadline, try focusing on one thing at a time more often. Only start a second task after the first is finished. This is key when we organizing different spaces in a home and even applies when we unpack a whole home. It’s crucial we finish a space before moving on. We’ve trained ourselves to never break that rule while organizing. So if treating it as a “rule” in your work day or home, implement this new rule. If you’ve tried this new outlook, let us know how it has helped. Or if you’ve mastered the art of multitasking and have found balance in it, I’d love to hear from you. Share your comments below!