Monday, April 26, 2010

LW Monday - Multitasking FAILs

Blessings, Darlings!

Way back when I started blogging the Life Wellness series I mentioned that you should approach these wellness suggestions one at a time, spending about 3 weeks integrating that ONE thing into your life. Given that most of us - myself included - started this process needing improvement in so many wellness areas, why didn't I have everyone jump in with everything at once?

First, because it would have been one terribly long blog post, covering EVERYTHING in wellness. You'd still be reading it. Heck, I'd still be writing it, so I guess you wouldn't have read ANY of it!

Second, and the topic of this blog post, is that people have trouble when they try to focus on too much. Yes, we can juggle two, maybe three, things at once. We can handle them better if they are split between long term and short term projects. But put too much in the pile and the pile come tumbling down.

And EVERYTHING, no matter what the priority, gets delayed. Let me show you ....

Let's say that you have 4 projects going, and you're trying to multitask and do them all at once. Let's FURTHER say, for simplicity, that there is no down-time in switching between the tasks. You will INSTANTLY be able to go from one to the other, no time lost putting away one set of files and getting another out, or cleaning and putting away the gardening tools and changing clothes to exercise, or having to try to remember where you were on the project you're changing to. And isn't that last one one HECK of an assumption? There's one FAIL right there!

So, again, 4 projects. Say it will take 3 days per project. Let's map that out as multitasked, putting even amounts of time (in days) per project 'so you get at least a little done on each'.

Project 1 = 1
Project 2 = 2
Project 3 = 3
Project 4 = 4

Dang, I'm creative, aren't I?

Four projects multitasked in days:

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

Twelve days. And you don't even finish the FIRST project until day 9.

Instead, do one of them at a time, and getting things DONE looks like this:

1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 4

Twelve days, still. But Project 1 is done on day 3 instead of day 9. Project 2 is done day 6 instead of day 10. Project 3 is done by day 9 instead of day 11. Project 4 is still done by day 12, no change there.

But look at the great changes in dates done on those first three project JUST by not trying to do them all at once!


Giving credit where credit is due: I was taught about this by Dr. Lisa Lang's webinars on Stompernet.

Frondly, Fern

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