from Carmin Wharton
Founder & CEO
Entrepreneurship on Your Terms
Multitasking is Dead
Do you know why you can’t get more done? No? Then kill multitasking – totally eliminate multitasking from your business life. Have you ever had this happen to you? You’re working on a project that requires your full attention and creativity, such as writing your newsletter or designing an information product, and suddenly a family member or employee interrupts you while you were concentrating – deeply. Even if you tell them you are busy and go back to work, it takes you quite a while before you can re-align your mind into what you were doing before.
Focus and discipline is what helps you complete a project. If you are a home-based business owner, “projects” usually have profit tied to them and so you must be able to focus and be disciplined enough to say “no” to something else clamoring for your attention at the same time. Here are some things I have started to doing to keep me focused on what I’m doing while I do one thing at a time:
1. Clear your desk of anything unrelated to your current project. Believe it or not, those slips of paper, notes and things you “intend to get to” are commanding your attention and draining your energy – energy you need to focus on the task at hand.
2. Plan your day out so that you can focus in on one task at a time. Set times to complete urgent tasks, reading and responding to emails (I suggest twice a day for checking email), marketing and listening to teleseminar recordings. Then keep to your schedule. Unless a real emergency presents itself, don’t veer off of your schedule. Complete one project or task and then move on.
3. Complete those tasks that have the highest rate of return for your business. High rate of return items are the things that will accelerate your success and increase your bank account.
4. Take short breaks away from your desk and office. Go walk the dog, play music, cook or read something purely recreational. Doing something completely unrelated to your business or technology will refresh and reinvigorate you.
5. Create your schedule for tomorrow. Schedule your high rate of return items first and then whittle down the remainder of your to do list. If a project or task took longer than you intended and you were not able to mark it off today’s to do list, move these items to tomorrow’s to do list but after the high rate of return projects or tasks. I believe if you stop multitasking and really focus on the project or task at hand you will find that you accomplish more, reduce your stress and increase your profits.
Carmin Wharton is a home-based business expert and the founder of e-BlackWomenNetwork.com, a membership community designed to take businesses owned by women of color from start up to prosperity. Carmin’s mission is to help women earn what they’re worth and make it big in their home-based business on their own terms.
For a great companion piece, check out Barbara Ehrenreich’s essay, “The Cult of Busyness.”