I finished reading The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey and I already implemented several of the tips the author describes in his book. I have to say that very few 'self development' books have been as helpful as Bailey's book. So much so that I invited him to come on my podcast Hit The Streets with Valerie Jardin to share some productivity tips with the listeners this summer. So stay tuned for that episode!
One of the big eye openers for me was the value of single-tasking.
I'm a solo entrepreneur and a mom, which by definition puts me in the 'expert multi-tasker' category. I'm pretty good at multi-talking. I can juggle so many things at once, most people would get dizzy. I also realize that multi-tasking can be counter productive at times and I decided to try single-tasking during my peak productivity time. I started setting my iPhone timer in 30-45 minute increments to start. It's about twice as long as the recommended time for the new single-tasker. I thought I might as well challenge myself in the process. It's harder than it looks for people like me, who are used to dealing with dozens of things at once. After focussing on one task only without distractions in 30-45 minute increments for a few days, I am amazed at how much more productive I am. I'm not only more productive, but also more deliberate. It's also a good way to tune out social media for 30-45 minute increments, which is longer that most people can last.
I'm not saying that I will single-task all day, every day. But I am definitely trying to apply the technique several times during the day when I am writing or catching up with office work. The benefits are well worth the effort. I get done faster and more efficiently so I have more time to play!
I believe that multi-tasking has its value and benefits at certain times. It is definitely a necessary skill when I travel and teach workshops for example. But everything with moderation is good and I will continue to improve my single-tasking abilities when it is most beneficial.
This was one of the dozens of valuable nuggets I picked up by reading Chris Bailey's book. It's definitely a must-read if you need to find more hours in the week to do more of the things you love to do!
Are you a multi-tasker or a single-tasker? Or, like me, it depends on the situation?