Multitasking for Productivity – Myth or Fact?

As most network marketers know, one of the hardest parts of running your own home business is trying to get everything done every day.  I struggle to wear all my different hats every day; financial wizard, sales superstar, marketing guru, website developer, trainer of new partners, etc.

Anyone working online knows that we multitask all the time.  I used to think this was great but…

I found that multitasking is a myth!  I did some research and found that in 2009 researchers at Stanford University set out to investigate what makes multitaskers special.  Well there were surprising results!  People that are talented multitaskers thought that they were outperforming the people who were focused and did one task at a time.  Not so!  The people that did not multitask consistently outperformed their less confident counterparts.

Studies showed that you might feel more efficient as they juggled tasks, but studies suggested that multitasking actually slows you down!  That knocked my socks off.  I am a multitasker extraordinaire with years of multitasking behind me.  What do you mean I am not as productive?

Well researchers at the University of California at Irvine found that office worker took an average of 25 minutes to recover from a simple distraction like a phone call.

So what can you do?  The best thing we can all do is called selective multitasking.  This is limiting multitasking to straightforward activates that won’t compete for your mental resources.  A great example of this is organizing your paperwork while browsing the Web.  But when you are trying to learn something new or talking with a prospect or new business partner, give them your full attention!  When you really need your brain power, don’t multitask.

So you ask “How can I break my multitasking habit so I can boost my productivity?”

It takes time for your brain to switch gears as you move from one task to another so you can save time by grouping the same type of activities together.  Some examples of this are; make all your phone calls at one time, go through all your emails once or twice a day, not as they come in.  You can reduce all the mental clutter by using tools such as calendars, to-do lists, personal digital assistants and organizers.

You can maintain focus by using reminders to finish one to three tasks per day.  I like to use “notepad” on my computer.  This helps me stay very focused during the day and feel good about my accomplishments as I get to check them off or delete them from my list as they are completed.  What a great feeling!

Another method that I have been taught over the years from working at home is to keep track, in order, for one week of all the tasks that you do that are related to your business.  I was amazed at how I jumped around!  Check email, answer chat on Skype, start to write an article, answer email, make phone call, etc. No wonder I was having trouble getting things done!  After keeping track for a week I found that I was bouncing all over the place.  I took my list and started grouping tasks that were alike together and then putting them in blocks of time on my calendar.  Phone calls for 1 hour in the am (turn off computer), reply to email requests for ½ hour in the am and ½ hour in the afternoon.  I found this to be extremely productive.

I hope some this these examples will help you stay focused and be very productive in your own home business!