Sun. May 19th, 2024

Lessons in Multi Tasking

woman sitting in front of macbook

Multi-tasking is a misnomer. Trying to do several things at once usually ends in many things partially completed; well at least in my experience. It is one of those things I thought I was executing so well for many years, but alas, I was not. In the end it was affecting my confidence and leading me to doubt myself, I was becoming overwhelmed and stressed out; let me explain. 

I would start my day with a fresh brewed cup of coffee in one hand and my phone in the other. I would check my email, texts, social media before getting my day started. I would make a mental list of everything I needed to do that day and start with what I thought was the most important item of the day, we will call this Task 1. While working on task 1 I would get an email notification from someone wanting something of me. Instead of waiting until task 1was completed, I told myself that it would only take a minute to get what the email (task 2) needed, and I would get back to my original task at hand. In the middle of task 2 a text notification would come through; I would again check that “real quick” and find someone needed me or something from me, yep you guessed it, task 3. Keep in mind that task 1 and 2 have not been completed yet and I would sign on for task 3, oh yeah, don’t forget, I still had an entire mental list of things I needed to complete that day, which haven’t even been started. This scenario plays out all day, every day. 

Being self-employed, I always felt I had to be the Yes Ma’am, I can do that for you, type of person. I pulled it off for a short time, however as time went on things started to implode. What I didn’t realize at the time was “Multi-Tasking” was crushing my confidence, effecting my moods and my belief in myself. Some may ask, how does this effect your confidence? How does this alter your moods? Well folks, here’s the answer; When you go through an extended period of time not accomplishing daily tasks on a regular basis and you always have a laundry list of things to do, and the items you do accomplish are not up to your standards or completed just under the wire, you begin to look at yourself & your profession differently. The pressure that is placed on you by others, or yourself, makes you look at situations in a new light, or I should say have a darker outlook. You feel as though you don’t have time to do what you want and work is always a thunder cloud above your head. I started to feel depressed, alone and just plain worthless because I felt I couldn’t get ahead of the work, my daily tasks.  

I didn’t mean to go dark there, but that’s how I was feeling. That’s how I look at multi-tasking; a never ending list of unfinished tasks causing confusion and uncertainty. I did manage to figure a few things out over those years, with the help of my hubby. I shut off all notifications on my phone, no email pings, texts dings or social media bells. I learned to focus on the task at hand, complete it before moving on to something else. Now I am not perfect at this, my husband still calls me to task when I start trying to do too many things at once and get frazzled; I appreciate it as I don’t end up a stressed out mess. 

So, in short, if you feel like you can’t complete anything, get frustrated and moody because things aren’t flowing like they should, ask yourself, how many things am I trying to accomplish today? And if there are many things, stop doing them all, focus on the most important thing and do that until it is complete, then move on. This just doesn’t pertain to work, it relates to life. Don’t get so busy doing everything, do what is important and enjoy your accomplishment when it is done, then move on to the next thing. 

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