Here we are again in the midst of the crazy end of financial year period.
I am trying so hard this year to avoid the usual pitfalls. You know the one's - eating the food pyramid in reverse, sitting so long that the back of your thighs prefer to stay with the seat of the chair when you finally remember to leave, thinking, 'I'll just get this done, then shower", and then looking up to see the sun setting out the window.
In the past, at this time of the year, I've hunched over my computer in such a bad posture for such a long period, that I lost the feeling in the little finger of my right hand (true story), and another year, clenching my teeth so hard my jaw locked (another true story). And let's not even start on the infuriating emails we all know so well at this time of the year that start with,
" I am not meaning to hassle you but when will my Group Certificate be ready?" and desperately fighting the urge to reply "PAYMENT SUMMARY! It is called a Payment Summary!! " (add in your own expletives) and smugly sliding that person to the bottom of the list.
I am determined to get through this year more calmly with my health and sanity intact. And, of course, be super productive.
Like all of us, I have developed a few good habits over the years to be more effective and productive.
All good intentions, right? But here's the thing, I multi-task. All the time. It's my modus operandi. I am peeling potatoes, trying to figure out what conjunctive adverbs are for the eldest child's homework, with Facebook open on my i-pad while mentally planning whose Payment Summaries I'll tackle first tomorrow. I'm not the lone multitasker. I mean who amongst us hasn't proudly boasted to a colleague or, even better, a potential new employer that we are 'excellent multitaskers'? Isn't it a good thing? Well apparently not anymore. Multi is gone ... and now it's all about the Mono. No, not eyebrows - but monotasking.
In a nutshell focusing on one activity at a time. Just one thing. Kind of the close cousin of mindfulness whose focus is more on emotional awareness. If you're watching TV, don't look at LinkedIn. If you're chatting to a friend, put down your phone and give them your full attention. If you're working on a project, shut down emails and Facebook and just focus. It's harder than it sounds, in a world where we are so connected and available and bombarded.
More and more, research is showing that multi-tasking, is not only ineffective but actually not good for our brains - and that the constant switching between activities depletes it. We might feel like we're achieving more but the reality is that we not only get less done but are more likely to make errors. Read a great article here published in the New York Times.
So there in lies my new challenge - monotasking. I'm giving it a whirl, and I'll let you know.
Yours in Mono-ness
Gabrielle Osborne (BAcc) is a small business specialist who loves to help business owners focus on what they do best. An innovation enthusiast and determined problem-solver, that's fun to work with.
m: 0410 546 000