How to Multitask Like a Boss
Multitasking is controversial because people say that nobody can really multitask very well and if you try, you won’t get things done as quickly. I’m not sure I believe that, because I’m continually multitasking and I get a hell of a lot done every day. For me, an idle mind is the devil’s playground. I think I do things better if I’m doing three things at once.
Multitasking energizes and invigorates your mind, so you think more clearly and sharply and you move more quickly. It seems to me like when I have one thing to do, I get nothing done, but if I have forty-two things to do, I get it all done. Ideas beget more ideas. If you can get really good at it, you’ll effectively double or triple the minutes in your day.
Some complex jobs really need your full attention and you need to be able to recognize when that’s the case. Writing a book chapter, creating a presentation for work, brainstorming, cooking something complicated, or assembling an entertainment center need all your brain power, so put away your smartphone and get on with it. Also, don’t multitask when you’re pushing a stroller, holding a baby, crossing the street, using something sharp, like a saw or scissors, or doing anything else that could be dangerous, and don’t do stupid things while you need to concentrate, like checking your e-mail every three seconds or obsessively tweeting. That’s not multitasking. That’s wasting valuable time.
Thousands of tasks you do every day are relatively mindless, so do a few at a time. Here are some examples of how I multitask and how you can get more done, too:
– When you’re on the phone, walk around the house decluttering. Put things back where they belong. Dust, or wipe down the counters in your kitchen or your refrigerator.
– When you’re waiting for a call or a meeting to start, or you are on hold, organize a drawer or delete contacts from your cell phone.
– When you’re watching TV, do your sit-ups and push-ups or a few yoga poses.
– For dinner, make whatever needs to bake first (like bread, cake, or casserole), then make the side dishes on the stove while the oven is going.
– If you’re a passenger in a car, write your blog, make your lists, or edit your book.
– When you’re waiting in line, answer e-mails.
– Make playdates at parks so you can spend time with your child and socialize with other moms at the same time.
– Get a manicure while you’re getting a massage. They can work around each other. You just relax.
– If you have several family doctor’s appointments or you need to get your annual physical, see the dentist, and get your eyes checked, bang them all out on the same day.
– If you have multiple appointments in the same area of town, schedule them all for the same day.
– When you’re on an airplane, catch up on work.
– If you know you’re going to be waiting, stash blank cards and stamps in your purse and write thank-you notes.
– Keep work or a book in your bag or on your phone so if you have a long flight or train ride or a delay, you can use the time to catch up.
– Spend time with your dog while in the car running errands.
This is an excerpt from Skinnygirl Solutions by Bethenny Frankel, available at Amazon.com.