Does your workday look like this sometimes? You check your email and there are about three or four important emails in your inbox. However, you canít get to them at the moment because youíre putting the finishing touches on a report thatís due that afternoon. The phone rings. You need to answer it as the caller, who is nearly impossible to track down, has information you need for another project thatís due the next day. Just as you reach for the phone, your boss appears at your desk wanting to meet with you ASAP.
Iíve read articles about how multi-tasking is not good for productivity, however, I really donít see a way around it. This is a multi-faceted world we live in. So at work and at home, Iíve learned how to do at least two things at once.
This morning while I was doing low impact step aerobics on my Wii Fit, I came up with an opening to a novel I started awhile ago. I had the basic plot figured out, I just didnít know how to ďenterĒ the story. As the endorphins flowed, I imagined the opening scene. An hour later when I was on the train headed to work I pulled out my journal to jot down my thoughts about some upcoming events/projects.
I write while I exercise, I plan while I commute. I check emails while I watch TV. I wash dishes while I cook. When Iím on my break with my day job, I write a paragraph for a novel or essay. I fold clothes while I watch The Wendy Williams Show. If it is at all possible, I always, always, always do at least two things at once.
Don Aslett in Done: How to Accomplish Twice as Much in Half the Timeóat Home and at the Office writes ďWhen it comes to simply tasks, you can do two or ten or a hundred at the same timeÖJust because one thing is going on doesnít mean that everything else has to stop.Ē
Similarly, Pamela Allardice in Make Time: The survival guide for women with too much to do also advises readers to do more than one thing at a time. ďThe secret to feeling better organized around the home is to do other small tasks while waiting for big things to finish, like cooking or washing,Ē writes Allardice.
There are so many things you can do at the same time at work and at home. Below are just a few ideas.
- Solve a problem in your head while youíre taking a walk with beautiful scenery.
- Proofread a document while youíre on hold.
- Iron your clothes for the week while watching your favorite TV show.
- Talk to your children/spouse/best friend while you wash the dishes.
- If itís permissible, listen to a book on tape or talk radio while at your desk.