Plate Too Full? Multi-tasking won’t help.
At a certain point, it’s no longer about better multi-tasking ( cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_multitasking cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switching_barriers ), better time management or better organization… it isn’t even about better caffeine levels.
It’s about taking things off the plate… especially those things (and yes, those relationships) which create clutter and noise, which generate highly distracting, unimportant busy work.
For those of us who get some enjoyment from the work itself — the craft that goes into the details — it can be hard sometimes to discern which things need to get dropped. However, it’s critical that we be in control of the “dropping” process and decide what we want to keep on our plate. Sure, we’ll get lucky sometimes… sometimes, as our plates fill up, the things we don’t want will naturally fall off of it. However, we all know the feeling of having let something important slide because we were caught up in a salient triviality. So do yourself a favor and focus on…
- the people and things that matter most, based on your values and responsibilities
- the activities that build your equity, including your intellectual capital
- the people that will stand with you for the long term
- that which brings you joy
The month of May was very productive and enjoyable for me as I connected with many great people — including those people who really matter to me — and did some good work that I’m proud of. In fact, looking back over the last 30 days, it’s fair to say that I reached some new “personal bests” for performance… and had some great fun in the process. However, there were a few very important things and at least one profoundly enjoyable thing (i.e., writing and posting on this blog) which I didn’t get done. Those lapses are unfortunate casualties of the activities — and relationships — where I was spinning my wheels, where I was trying to create value in something fruitless, where I was trying to please the unappeasable.
Well, I guess there is always the value of accrued experience, codified into what will hopefully be a not-overly-zealous future early warning system.
Posted on June 1, 2011, in Business, Learning, Life, Productivity and tagged Advice, efficiency, life, Management, multitasking, multitasking skills, Time management, tips, values. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.