Are You More Productive When You Multi-task?

These days, it’s easy to confuse “busy” with productive. And in most business cultures, “multi-tasking” is a skill that is cultivated and rewarded.

But is it REALLY the best way to be more productive? Probably not.

In reality, switching from task to task in the hopes of getting more done in less time, actually slows our thinking. The result? You are actually LESS productive because your brain becomes overloaded. Which costs time and money… and leaves you feeling like you’ll never get everything done.

Want to really up your productivity? Try “single-tasking”!

Basically, single-tasking means taking on one activity at a time, and working on it until it’s complete. It sounds simple, but for those of us schooled in “multi-tasking,” it requires a major re-tooling of our work habits.

Here are some handy tips to help you get started:

• Take control of technology – turn off your cell phone, close e-mail and chat programs, work on one document at a time

• Schedule what can be scheduled – use your planner to schedule meetings with people, rather than half-heartedly interacting with them when they interrupt your train of thought.

• Focus on the person – don’t divide your attention between the conversation you’re having and another task. That way, you’ll be sure to capture every detail of the conversation and won’t miss a thing.

Fortunately, the concept of trying to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously is proving to be non-productive and costly. After all… when you think of it, it really IS impossible to do two things at once!