SELECTIVE FOCUS: KEY TO EFFECTIVE MULTITASKING
Have you ever found yourself caught in between several tasks at the same time? Do you often feel overwhelmed by the enormity of tasks before you? Do you which your daily activities were reduced so that you could just have some air? Do you wish to achieve more each day, while maintaining your sanity and vigor?
Then read on.
The following tips have worked for me, and several hundreds of people whose lives I have followed closely over the years. And I do believe they will work for you too.
1. Create an Accomplishment List.
I love to differ a bit from the popular ‘To-Do’ List because it does more harm than good. Why did I say that?
A ‘to-do’ list makes you inflexible and unrealistic. It constrains you to regimented time intervals, and makes it almost impossible to balance out other important things, and opportunities for maximizing the day in other aspects.
An Accomplishment List is quite similar, but is not as rigid. You enter into such a list with a different frame of mind. You are aware that some things also do come up in the course of the day which you may not have planned, but it is important both for the present and future that you attend to those things.
For example, if you are a departmental manager and one of your staff members come into your office looking somber. You know this is unusual of him, but you have some ‘to-do’ items with strict time intervals. You have not made any provision for a subordinate who cannot handle his own personal challenges. If you are a ‘to-do’ person, you may simply say something like: “I don’t have time now. I will put you on my ‘to-do’ list for tomorrow. So we can see tomorrow. Ok!”
But if on the other hand, you are an Accomplishment List person, you know that the happiness of your subordinate is important to the overall success of your department and that of the organization. You don’t want to keep waiting till tomorrow. What if the situation is so overwhelming that he is even considering suicide? How would you take that if you get to hear that your subordinate committed murder because there was a depressing situation to which he could find no solution?
So, an Accomplishment List makes room in your mind to be flexible enough to recognize opportunities to make a difference that may not be necessarily captured in your list or during your visualization of the day.
NOTE: You must also have the intuition to distinguish between a distraction and situations that require truly urgent attention.
2. Work on your goals, one at a time.
I know in many work environments this may be truly unrealistic, especially if you are a PA or Customer Service person. You may have to attend to multiple tasks and persons at the same time. But you can achieve that by following the formulae I developed some time ago:
- Make the present task/client your primary focus. Excuse yourself from people, and promise them, with a lot of smiles, that you’d attend to them once you’re done with the person before you.
- Partition your mind. It may not be very easy if you are just starting this lifestyle. But you may need to divide your mind into different time frames and schedules. Working through your Accomplishment List in your mind as you go from person to person, and project to project.
- Work with pace. Try to work as fast as you can. This definitely comes with experience, but you must give yourself to working faster than everyone else. This will not only endear you to the clients, but would also make you a ‘go-to’ player within the organization. Like the saying goes: If you want a job done, give it to a busy person. That’s a busy person with pace!
To keep this article short, I’d stop it here. Visit this page for more next week. Meanwhile, take your time to savor other articles that are written with you mind – to help you achieve more in less time and with minimal resources.
To your productivity!
You may also read The Awesome Worker