There are times when we have to multi-task, you know…cooking dinner while washing sheets, writing up a shopping list and answering the phone. Many times, I’ve needed more than two arms! And, if you have small children, it really can be even more tricky when so many things are screaming for your attention.
I usually try to focus on one thing at a time so as to not lose my concentration but it can’t always be helped, so I thought I’d share some tips to remember to help us all accomplish our tasks without losing our minds in the process!
- Not every task can be worked on alongside other duties. If you know upfront that you have to spend some quality time to do one particular job, then don’t add that to any multi-tasking. Wait until you have a pocket of quiet time to work on it.
- You don’t have to answer all calls while multi-tasking. The wonders of caller ID are excellent, what did we do before we had it? Unless I’m waiting on a call, I let it to go to voicemail. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burned a meal picking up the phone and forgot all about the stove. And if you have to answer a call, don’t walk away from where you’re working cause chances are you’ll forget something important too like dinner in the oven!
- Try not to panic. I tell myself this when I’ve got several things pulling at me all at once. I take deep breaths and try relax my muscles. It really helps me. Prayer wouldn’t hurt either!
- Keep a list handy. I live by lists. It helps me stay on track. Understandably, interruptions happen that can throw off the day…but again remember tip #3, don’t panic.
- Go easy on yourself. If you’re like me, you want to feel productive all the time. I hate wasting time. However, that said some things on the list just don’t get done in a day and they have to roll to the next day. But, I used to get so mad at myself that I couldn’t complete all my tasks in one day. No more…it’s a waste of time and energy getting frustrated, because eventually it will get done.
Another tip worth mentioning is don’t forget to eat. That might sound strange, but we can get so busy that we’re working on pure adrenaline and we’re not getting a decent meal in. Even if you don’t have time to sit down and eat a lunch, preparing a light snack of fruit with a drink (like a smoothie) will do wonders!