5 Times Multi-Tasking is Actually Beneficial
I am actually a strong believer in multi-tasking; just in very specific situations.
The “M” word. Multi-tasking.
Where do you fall on the “multi-tasking” vote? Are you in favor of it or do you think it actually makes you less productive?
Multi-tasking has definitely gotten a bad rap lately, so I wanted to chime in on the topic. As a Time Management and Productivity Coach, most people expect me to shout from the roof tops that multitasking is always bad. But, I am actually a strong believer in multi-tasking; just in very specific situations. With that said, I also agree that not all multi-tasking is beneficial and more often than not, it can actually be counterproductive.
Any time you find yourself trying to split your focus between two things that really require or deserve your full attention, it’s not good.
For example, texting while driving? NOT good.
Answering texts and messages while helping children with homework? Usually doesn’t end well.
Muting a conference call while responding to emails? Nope, not good. You just heard someone say your name and you have no idea what they were just talking about.
Any type of multi-tasking where you are trying to play two roles at once means nothing is getting your full attention. No one wins.
I do, however, have five times or places where I multi-task like a PRO and it helps me stay on task. For realz. Multi-tasking is actually GREAT in these situations:
- Driving. I love to use drive time to catch up with a family member on the phone (hands free of course) or listen to a podcast.
- Cleaning /Household Chores. I hate cleaning, with a passion. So, when I am doing laundry, vacuuming, etc I pop my headphones in and use that time to catch up on any audible training calls I missed or catch up on my favorite educational Podcasts.
- Exercising. Sometimes I like to run in silence to let my creativity go but if I am feeling behind on things, I will use my run time to listen to the latest educational book. Audible is the BEST for this!
- Cooking. I NEVER cook for one meal. Ever. I also don’t love cooking, so I maximize my time in the kitchen. I meal plan for the work week so if I am chopping up veggies on a Monday night, I will chop up the veggies I know I need for a later dinner. If I am cooking up chicken, I am cooking an extra piece or two to be used in a future meal. If I am making a meal, I might be hard boiling eggs for future lunches.
- Watching TV. I like TV. It is one of my favorite ways to unwind but sometimes I feel guilty for not “doing something.” TV time is when I can catch up on small stuff that doesn’t not require intense focus such as writing out birthday cards, filing, photo organizing, computer clean up, etc. Tasks that are never important enough to get scheduled on my calendar are perfect tasks to do in front of the TV.
Take a look at your latest “to-do” list. Where can you actually multi-task in a way that is beneficial? Intentional multi-tasking CAN help you achieve more in less time!