The Myth of Multitasking

pretty very busy multitasking housewife on white background

Multitasking is a Myth.  If you think you can multitask well, think again.

Doing more than one task at a time, especially complex tasks, actually reduces productivity, efficiency and performance.  In fact, research shows that switching from task to task can cost you up to 40% efficiency.

You are better off focusing on one thing at a time and doing that one thing well.

If you think you’re good at doing several things at once — reading and listening to music, driving and talking on the phone, texting while sitting in a meeting — think again.

Recent neuroscience research reveals that the brain doesn’t really do tasks simultaneously, as we thought — or hoped — it might.  In fact, we just switch tasks quickly. Each time we move from hearing music to reading to talking to texting, there is a stop/ start process that goes on in the brain.  And that start/stop/start process is rough on us: rather than saving time, it costs time (even very small micro seconds), it’s less efficient, we make more mistakes, and over time it can be energy sapping.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and you think becoming a better multitasker is the answer, guess again.  And join me for my free training on 10 Keys to Help Working Women Regain Control (without guilt).  It will give you some much better tools for managing your work–and your life.

In the meantime, try working on just one thing and giving yourself sufficient time to complete it.  Then, take a quick break, breathe, stretch, move around, drink some water and focus on the next thing.  If you do this throughout the day, you will actually accomplish more.  I was quite surprised at the difference this made for me.

Besides, when you actually pay attention in the meeting, instead of texting and answering emails, you may be surprised at what you learn that will be helpful to your overall career goals!

I’d love to see your comments.  Please share your experience with multitasking.

 Yes, I Want Tools to Regain Control

#multitasking #performance #workingwomen #efficient #productive #overwhelm

 

 

 

Three Ways to Gain More Clarity

Filter held against the beach giving clarity

Why is it important to gain more clarity?  According the the American business philosopher Buckminster Fuller, “clarity is power,” and I couldn’t agree more.  Clarity allows you to focus you time, energy and attention in ways that will move you further faster.  And the world’s high performing achievers make a habit of seeking heightened and sustained levels of clarity to contribute to their success.

In my High Performance Coaching Program, the very first thing I work on with my clients is CLARITY because it makes such a difference and it provides a solid foundation for consistently playing your best game.  When you have clarity, everything falls into place.

What do you need clarity about?  Only you know the answer to that, but regardless of the area of work or life where you seek greater clarity, here are three techniques that will help you:

  1. Ask good questions.  Give yourself time and space to ask a thoughtful question that gets to the area where you are struggling, where you need some help or where you need to refine your thinking or perspective.  When I do my morning swims, I often use this quiet, otherwise boring time to ask myself a question, reflect on it, ponder possible answers and often, make a decision or commitment.  These conversations with myself include things like:  What should I post about this week?  What do I want to share on the subject of clarity that would be helpful to others?  By the way, the more you practice this, the better you get at the questions!
  1. Journal.  This practice goes hand in hand with the questions—and it can also stand on its own.  Just having a blank page in front of you and committing to a specific amount of time to writing on it can surface thoughts, ideas, feelings and beliefs that are below the surface of your conscious thought.  This can be a very effective way to gain more clarity.  If you are more of a visual thinker, you can also ask yourself to illustrate the problem or issue by creating a mind map.
  1. Share.  Talk it over with a coach or trusted advisor or friend.  Just the act of articulating your thought process will bring more clarity to it and you have the added advantage of gaining someone else’s opinion and feedback.  Based on the nature of the issue, decide whether it’s best to use someone familiar with the situation or completely objective—or somewhere in between.

 Using these practices will enable you to gain more clarity on any number of issues or problems you are currently facing or expect to face in the future.  They all require some time and it is best to schedule that time for this specific purpose.  When you make scheduling “time to think” a regular habit, you will be surprised at how much you can accomplish in how short a time.  Just setting aside 15 minutes to gain more clarity will provide benefit.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.   Add a comment or question below.

If you want to learn more about how High Performance Coaching can help you gain more clarity, focus and productivity, click here.

And I invite you to register today for my upcoming FREE training on 6 Keys to Unlocking High Performance.   Just click here.

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed?

frustrationAre you feeling overwhelmed?  Lately, it seems that many of the business leaders I speak to are feeling stressed out and overwhelmed.   Summer is supposed to be the time to kick back a little and take it easier, enjoy more time with friends and family, etc.  This year seems different.

I believe this is a reflection of the ever-increasing pace of the world around us and the fact that there is more information coming at us from more directions than ever before.  It seems relentless and harder than ever to get out in front of the avalanche.

Since I was hearing so much from so many, I decided to do something about it.  I created a free online session called 10 Keys to Help Working Women Regain Control (without the guilt).

If you feel like your life and your agenda is out of your control these days, I invite you to join me next week.  Click here to register.

You will discover some of the best ways to balance all the competing demands on your time, energy and attention and still feel good about yourself, your relationship and your responsibilities.

I’m looking forward to sharing this with you.  Register here.

 

Three Ways to Improve the Results from Your Team

AfricanProverb

As a business leader, have you ever been frustrated with your team’s ability to follow through and perform to your expectations?  I know I have.  And it’s disappointing when you are responsible for delivering results and you are not getting the support you need.  Most business leaders are quick to point out all the things that are wrong, all the ways their teams are below par and the things “they wish” were better.  Maybe you feel this way too.

Building a high functioning team takes commitment, it takes awareness and acceptance that things can be better – and it takes leadership.  As a leader, there are some simple things that you can do to set the tone – starting today – to improve the relationship with your team and the results you are getting from them.

Here are three ways you can improve:

  1. Listen more.  Spend more time listening to others than you spend talking.  You’ll be surprised what you can learn and how it can help you to achieve your goals.  I’m not talking about surface listening – just waiting for the other person to finish so you can take your turn.  Active listening helps you to grasp the other person’s intent, their point of view and their issues and concerns.  It includes hearing what isn’t being said and watching for tone and body language to truly understand where they are coming from.  This level of understanding enables you to better influence the outcomes and results you are getting, because you have a wider perspective on reality (in other words, not just yours).
  1. Appreciate more. Even when you are disappointed with someone on your team, do it respectfully.  Learn to appreciate and value their point of view. After all, each of your team members has a uniquely different perspective, based on their unique experiences, the roles they’ve played, how they think and feel, and what they believe.  Adding their perspectives to your own will help inform your path forward to whatever it is you are trying to accomplish.  This is how you build support for your ideas, as well as how you refine and improve them.
  1. Think before you talk. It sounds simple, but it isn’t always easy.  Especially when you want to influence the outcome.  Rather than blurting out the first thing that’s on your mind, it’s actually more effective to pause and consider exactly what you want to convey before you just start in. Have you ever noticed how some people begin speaking the second someone else stops—or worse, just talk right over the other person?  It seems rude and immature.  They couldn’t possibly have been really listening with the intent to understand, just waiting to hear the sound of their own voice.  Learn to let others speak first and then, add what’s missing from your perspective.  It really isn’t necessary to dominate the entire conversation—nor is it advisable.

By practicing these three simple tips, you will improve your relationship with your team members.  You will also be perceived as a better leader and you will ultimately gain more influence with the team.

To learn more about improving the overall teamwork in your organization, join me for a free training session:  How to Eliminate Dysfunction and Build a Cohesive TeamClick Here for more information and to register.

And, as always, I look forward to your feedback, comments and questions!