When faced with multiple tasks, most online entrepreneurs decide to do everything at the same time.
That way, you feel fulfilled and happy. You’re able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously and in record time too. Your clients are happy because you meet deadlines. Your business booms, and you land more clients on a consistent basis.
But here’s the truth.
Multitasking is a Productivity Killer Not Booster
Multitasking seems great in your mind, however, it does more harm to you than good. In fact, if you are fond of multitasking all the time, you risk harming your health, and your company’s business process could be in jeopardy.
Neuropsychologists suggest that tackling two tasks at the same time has a negative impact on our attentiveness, learning, and mindfulness. This is because humans are wired to be mono-taskers and it’s impossible for most people to multitask in nearly all situations. What usually happens when you multitask is that you’re carrying out individual actions rapidly–almost frantically–rather than doing two things at once.
A 2015 CNN report also indicates that our brains aren’t as good at multitasking as we think. This is because, if you’re performing one task like chatting with a friend on WhatsApp on the right side of the brain, and suddenly you’re coming up with ideas for what to fix for supper, you’re actually diverting your attention from one part of the brain to another. You might think you are doing both activities simultaneously, but that’s not the case.
Ditch Multitasking: Here are 5 Things to do Instead
Agreed, multitasking is tempting. However, it’s bad for you and your business. Here are five things you should do instead of multitasking.
- Focus on one task at a time:
This is a good practice. Whenever you have multiple tasks to attend to, it’s better to complete one before the other. For instance, you’re an online PR consultant and you have an email outreach to do for a client’s book launch, and an Ad you want to put up on Facebook for another.
Instead of carrying out the two tasks simultaneously, you could first set up the Facebook Ad before going ahead with the email outreach.
- Keep to a schedule:
A mistake most online entrepreneurs make is not planning their time effectively. That’s why it isn’t rare to see someone–say, an App developer–having a Skype chat with a client on the one hand and putting up a framework for a new App at the same time.
With a schedule, you’ll be able to plan your time well, know what you want to do at a point in time, and easily complete more tasks in a timely manner. Online scheduling tools like Calendly can help you do this seamlessly.
- Block out distractions when you work:
As an online entrepreneur, you’re prone to a lot of distractions, no thanks to social media. Sometimes, you’ll feel like catching up with your friends on Snapchat, checking what’s trending on Twitter, and sharing what you’re doing on Instagram.
If you can identify these distractions and block them whenever you have a task at hand, you’ll be able to do more in less time. If it’s the case that your Instagram followers cause you a lot of distractions when you work, then you should completely shut out Instagram when working. If you can filter what matters, and those that can wait, you’ll achieve greater results.
- Outsource if it’s necessary:
When faced with multiple tasks, outsourcing some isn’t a bad idea. By doing this, you hire others to carry out specific tasks on your behalf. Say you’re a content marketing consultant and have just conducted a series of interviews for an upcoming whitepaper for your client. You can outsource the transcription part to someone, while you plan, outline, and research.
One thing you must take note of when outsourcing is to be sure that the person you want to hire can carry out the task perfectly.
- Go out of your way to catch up with tasks:
Sometimes, you’ll have to do something unusual in order to catch up with multiple tasks. This is because, even though you try, you’ll find it pretty difficult to catch up with everything you ought to. I love the way Anu Duggal, the founding partner of Female Founders Fund, does this.
“I try to walk to and from work,” she says. “I use that time to make calls and check in on our founders.” Although this is just 30 minutes in the morning and after she leaves the office, that uninterrupted time helps her to connect and speak more with those women building their own businesses.
Summing it up:
Although some people see multitasking as the need of the hour, it’s been proven over time to do more harm than good. If you’re an online entrepreneur, you should consider ditching the urge to multitask at any given opportunity. In this post, I have shared with you five things you should do instead of multitasking. Start with one and see how much more productive you become today.