We hope you’ve been off to a great start for 2016. We just returned from the Bahamas this week after a program down there. Not a bad gig. We’ve also been learning a lot from a new business coaching program we joined. One of the biggest take-aways so far has been around the issue of multi-tasking.
All you meeting and event planners, and probably everyone else too, know too well all about multi-tasking. It’s our life right? Multiple projects, juggling deadlines, three pages of to-do lists. Then the fires that pop up daily with their urgency and importance.
Guess what folks? As fast and efficient as it is, your brain is a single processing unit. As much as we all pride ourselves on being excellent multi-taskers, the truth is, we’re not. Record scratch.
Yep, we truly can only do one thing at a time. We switch back and forth frequently and what feels like easily, between Outlook and Excel, phone calls and Word, Evernote and Quickbooks. But really, our brain is only focused on one thing at a time. We are making ourselves crazy with the constant back and forth. Our fearless leader in the business coaching group, Todd Hermann, calls it “context switching”. Our productivity has been taking a major hit from the near constant context switching throughout each day.
It’s time to stop the madness. Start creating blocks of time in your day, even 15-30 minute blocks, where you turn off your email notifications, turn the ringer off on your phone and focus on one goal, one outcome, one task. We’ve been working on this at our office and WOW, can we tell a difference! Yes, leave space in your day for the inevitable crisis someone shoves onto your plate. Yes, create two or three blocks throughout the day for checking emails. But remember that someone else’s urgent doesn’t have to be your urgent every single time.
Put the most important tasks at the front end of your day. If it takes you an hour or two to write a proposal, build an agenda or review BEO’s, make sure there is a block big enough to get it done. Otherwise, your day will fill up with the back and forth of responding to emails voicemails and suddenly it’s 5 o’clock and now you have to stay late in front of your desk, exhausted, to get the real work done.
At the end of the week, if you stay focused on and block off time for the important elements of your work and schedule in the necessary but less important, you’ll be amazed at what you’ve accomplished! Wait until you see how much you accomplish in a month! You can put those multi-tasking plaques away and wear your productivity medal proudly.
To get Team Building off your list of to-do’s and onto our list instead, fill out the request form to the right or call 855-TEAM-BLD.