Instead of allowing me to accomplish more, I believe multi-tasking simply prevents me from exceling. Whether it is exceling in my work, or exceling in motherhood. Multi-tasking gives me a split mind, which means my focus is not complete anywhere. This brings me to half-heartedly doing two or more tasks at the same time and therefore not giving anything my all. It also brings me more stress as it clutters my mind and my days in unnecessary ways.
These are the ways I have been known to multi-task and how I want to quit:
1. Checking my phone and... I can be checking my phone quickly while I am working on any task and I will argue that it only took me 5 seconds and I am still focused on my task. However, that 5 seconds brought me out of concentration and focus and allowed my mind to split from what I was trying to accomplish. Unless I need to hear from someone in that moment, I no longer want to be multi-tasking with my phone.
**Instead, make a habit of looking at your phone before you start a task or after a task is completed.
2. Watching TV and... You can often find me in the evenings watching TV while crafting -- yet I am finding this becoming more and more unproductive. My focus is set on TV instead of on my project in front of me which prevents me from accomplishing much more than I could have.
**Instead, set designated time to complete projects and use music as background instead of the TV. This way, when you do watch TV it can be more of an enjoyment rather than a split task. (My only exception here is with laundry... being such a mindless task, laundry and TV just seem to go as well together as peanut butter and jelly :).
3. Social Media and... I write mostly on my laptop. Often when I am writing I have other tabs up and am constantly going back to look at my social media websites. This prevents me from focusing on my writing, makes it last longer, and probably greatly affects its quality.
**Instead pick specific times to check social media throughout the day and stick to those times only.
4. Playing with my daughter and... It is easy to think that I can do more than simply sit on the floor with my daughter and her toys rather than give her the complete focus. After all, she doesn't always notice and there are so many other things I need to get done. In reality, I then am not giving her the full attention she deserves, and simply put those other things don't matter in that moment.
**Instead focus on the time you have with your child(ren) and allow yourself to truly be in the moment. Schedule specific time just to play with your child(ren) so that distractions come less easily.
There are two main ways that can help cut out multi-tasking from your life, which in turn can allow you to accomplish so much more:
1. Timers. Recently I started to use timers for tasks. I set time limits for how long I am on social media, for how long I have to complete a chore, etc. etc. This has helped me tremendously in staying focused on one task at a time and accomplishing much more in the short amount of time I do have.
2. Living in the moment. Instead of thinking about what I COULD be doing, I am setting my mind on what IS the current situation. This allows me to be reminded to only focus on that one thing at a time.
Multi-tasking might work for some, and maybe for some tasks it is worth it - but in general I believe much more can be accomplished with better focus on one task at a time.
Many people chose to have a word for their new year. Last year, my word was Simplify. I chose to focus on simplifying in many different ways, from materialistically to emotionally, and I am still working on this. To add on to that this year, my word is Focus. I want to live with more focus in all areas of my life. Cutting out multi-tasking is one of the first ways I hope to do this.