Wednesday, November 6, 2013
With unprecedented distractions at our fingertips, the ability to focus and finish a project before moving on to the next has become a more valuable skill than multitasking.
In Why Focus Should Really Be the Next “Big Thing,” Dr. Gottschalk suggests that the ability to multitask is more of an illusion, than a bona fide skill. That in reality, we should be on a mission to break our multitasking obsession, since, while we have the ability to switch between tasks — we do not have the ability to attend to all of them effectively.
Plan to do less – There are few things more discouraging than an endless to-do list. It’s a productivity killer. Limit your daily tasks to 5: 3 big things and 2 small things. Of course, it’s wistful to assume that you’ll have only five tasks on any given day, so create a “Back Burner” list where you throw less urgent tasks or brilliant ideas as they occur. When you’re done with your five tasks, then drag a few of the “Back Burner” tasks over.
This works like a charm for me: during daily “agile” stand-up morning meetings I limit the reporting of core tasks to five. I often end up completing many more tasks as priorities shift during the day. But starting out with a manageable number of tasks lessens the burden and stress and allows me to focus on each task to completion. Like researching and writing this post...