I’ve heard a lot of people say that they are good at multitasking.
In fact, some people insist on hiring employees based on this trait.
Let’s be really clear about what multitasking means:
Multitasking does NOT mean doing two things at once.
Multitasking DOES mean managing multiple projects.
Multitasking DOES NOT mean juggling rubber balls, sending an email, pouring an espresso shot, washing the car, and talking on the phone at the same time.
We have really clear data that show a huge reduction in work quality when you take on multiple tasks at the same time.
Multitasking DOES mean negotiating deadlines, following up with prospects, and getting new leads in the same work day .
So we’re talking about the task-level and the project-level.
Task-level multitasking is a disaster.
You will fail.
Project-level multitasking is a requisite skill for any valuable job.
2 Minute Action
Take 2 minutes to map out your day.
Look at your tasks and categorize them by project.
Multiple projects, deadlines, budgets?
But if the only time you have to send emails is while you’re peeing . . . you may want to look more deeply at your workload distribution.