By Denise Landers
If you were given a tool that would 1) increase productivity, 2) give you a better life balance, 3) help you feel in control, and 4) improve your health, would you be interested? There is actually one thing you can do that can return multiple results: Limit multitasking. Take a look at why this one change would have such an impact.
• Increasing productivity. Research now shows that we truly cannot process two things at once. Focusing on one type of activity at a time is much faster and more efficient. At the same time the multitasking is causing brain cell damage in both the prefrontal cortex, or executive center, and the hippocampus where learning takes place. We need these areas to be as strong as possible if we are to be as productive as possible.
• Balancing life. When you are more productive in getting work done during the day, you can leave earlier and have more time with family and friends.
• Feeling in control. Having a process set up for all the items that come into your life–paper, email, physical possessions–allows you to limit multitasking, giving you the ability to easily prioritize and to recognize what you need to let go of.
• Improving health. When you are juggling multiple activities at the same time, you build up adrenaline. Adrenaline is tied in with stress. It is good in certain situations but our bodies were not designed to pump it throughout the day. The long-term effects of stress can be devastating. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 80% of medical expenditures are stress related.
Take a holistic approach as you evaluate your work habits and create a better work/life balance. This considers the “whole person” including mental, emotional, physical, social, and environmental factors.
• Mental: preserving and rebuilding brain cells
• Emotional: eliminating stress and maintaining an even flow
• Physical: cutting back on colds, flu, heart conditions
• Social: finding additional time for family and friends
• Environmental: operating in a positive work environment each day
Your colleagues will thank you, your family will thank you, and you will experience the difference both internally and externally.
Denise Landers is the author of “Destination: Organization”and the owner of Key Organization Systems, Inc. (www.keyorganization.com). Based in Houston, she is a national speaker, trainer, consultant and coach providing conference sessions, corporate training, and individual assistance to improve daily work flow and time management skills.