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Stop Multitasking: Living Intentionally Unbalanced As An Entrepreneur

There is always talk of living a balanced life can be succeeded by multitasking. Having a good balance between your work and home life, and even a balance of responsibilities in both places is not always possible. Studies show this is not a practical approach. Instead, we should live intentionally unbalanced all the time and focus on one thing. This means that you must give up certain tasks in your home life and in your work life because balancing too many things at once will hinder your success.

Stop Multitasking: Living Intentionally Unbalanced As An Entrepreneur

The reason is simple. We have learned that multitasking is actually a horrible idea because it is the killer of productivity. The human mind can only focus on one thing at a time and do it well, and every time we shift focus we lose efficiency and clarity because we have to shift back when we return to the previous tasks. The more tasks we have going on at once, the worse this gets for us.

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Multitasking usually happens when we are trying to balance too many things at once. Ignoring the noise and focusing instead means that being intentionally unbalanced in that moment or period of time, and moving to another state of imbalance when we start the next task. This may seem counter intuitive, but actually very effective.

One Thing At A Time

This mentality of one thing at a time takes away from the glorification of busy, and the bragging rights that seem to come with multi-tasking. But the real results of that behavior is that some things, in fact many things, don’t get done as well as they should. They end up being mediocre.The alternative is to focus on one thing at a time, and doing it well. This means that your results in each area will be better. This means of course that some small things will get neglected along the way.

For instance, if you are creating a website, there are dozens of tasks that must be completed. You must choose your domain name, determine how you will handle hosting, create graphics and content, establish good SEO practices, and market your site in a number of ways.You could do all of those things yourself, but you probably cannot do all of them equally well. You have strengths, and others do too. You need to delegate or outsource, and focus only on the things you do best.

Focusing on doing your best rather than what you can just do well, or even just complete means everything you do will rise to another level of quality and efficiency. Collaboration will become a necessary part of everyday operations if you focus on one thing at a time, but in the long run that will benefit everyone.

Work Focus

In a practical sense, what does that look like at work? While the formula sounds simple, it gets complex quickly. Why? You have a lot to do as an entrepreneur, and some of it cannot simply be left behind. Many times, you will be called upon to make key decisions, and those times may not come at a time when you are not doing anything else. How do you keep your focus when everyone is demanding your immediate attention?

  • Don’t be afraid to say, “not now.”:  Even though something may seem like a crisis to someone else, most of the time it can wait half an hour or until you are free. Feel free to say, “not now” to certain decisions, and let the person asking know they will have to wait.
  • Empower others to make decisions: Another simple way to avoid the immediate decision dilemma is to enable your employees and those who work with you to make decisions on their own without your input. You hired them because they are smart and talented, let them use those qualities to free up your time.
  • Endorse Failure and Learning from It: This Empowerment is going to result in failure from time to time. Things will not always be done exactly as you want them too, and people will make mistakes. Make those failures about learning and moving forward, and don’t associate it with shame. Your business will be stronger, and so will your relationships.
  • Allow Yourself Freedom to Break Focus: If there is a crisis, if there is a decision you must make, allow yourself to break focus for things that really do matter. Never multi-taking will never be a perfect system, so you need to work within the imperfection.

Work focus can be challenging, and you may not always succeed. That is a tough position to be in, but by setting strong boundaries you can avoid a large number of interruptions centered around things that are not really a priority so you can focus on what is.

Home Focus

Focus at home needs to follow the same principles, but it is of course different. One of the primary things is to not let work invade your home life. When you are at home and off the clock, be present.

At the same time, your home life will have priorities from time to time as well. One day might be focused on time with your partner or spouse to maintain your relationship, and another might be dedicated to cleaning the gutters and preparing the house for winter.

Both of those things matter, and on any given day might even matter equally, but you have to focus on one at a time, so that you can give your partner and your kids the attention they deserve (if that is your situation).

How to Succeed In A Multitasking Society

Everyday, we hear of new changes that are being made. New technology, new devices, and new gadgets that are introduced. The primary goal of these introductions is to help to save us time, and increase our productivity, and ability to tackle daily tasks more simplistically. Most devices do save us a lot of time, that could be spent doing secondary activities to improve our lifestyles.

Technology is great, and the world has undergone many changes and advancements because of its assistance. In fact, we now have robots and small machines that can even help to remind us of things we need to do. But, we must reflect upon how this technology can alter us into different humans than we once were in the past. Now, technology has increased our ability to multitask, and it comes with many positive benefits and negative repercussions.

A Multitasking Society

With the introduction of smart phones, comes the additional connection to the outside world. Think back to a decade or two ago- when phones were not able to have wireless capabilities. Phone conversations were limited to just one area of the home or office. Now, we have smartphones that feature over 1 million apps, texting, and social media connections.

Whether it’s at work, or on the road, being connected to such devices forces us to multitask, at an exponential rate. Whether it’s a phone call from work, a text message from Mom, or your friend sending you a Facebook message, it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid focusing on just one thing at a time. Not to mention, it’s completely dangerous. Thinking about the texting and driving issue facing many across the globe, it’s hard to imagine what further distractions might be introduced within the next decade.

Multitasking Affects A lot

Multitasking in an ever changing society affects more than just your safety and driving ability. It affects personal relationships with friends and significant others. Being on your phone, or laptop when you should be, or are simultaneously “spending time” with others decreases your focus to enjoy the company of others.

In addition, some friends or family members may become irritated and find it somewhat rude to constantly be around someone who feels they must check their Facebook feed every ten minutes. It makes others around you feel as though your phone, or other distractions are more valuable than cherishing the time spent with them.

Multitasking also has long term effects. It’s been known that those who grow up in an environment, where multiple distractions and tasks are introduced to them are less capable of taking the time to concentrate on one thing at a time. Though a simple idea, many younger adults today have a difficult time with completing one task at a time because of this learned behavior. It’s no wonder the ADHD epidemic is on the rise, and is an overdiagnosed issue among many.

Improving Yourself To Achieve Success

Do you own a smartphone? Do you own other devices that commonly catch your attention or engagement while you should be focusing on something else? Do you commonly find yourself having to multitask to accomplish all of your daily goals? You are not alone. A large percentage of the world’s population feels the same way, and it’s only on the rise. There are many practices that can aid the ability to achieve success, without multitasking.

  • Take one step at a time: This is an old, but very valuable lesson that many of us forget about. Focus on your primary objectives of the day, and finish them completely. Don’t allow yourself to start on another task or start something else until your task has been completed in its entirety. This requires self-discipline, but practicing this on a daily basis will help your mind to form a new way of tackling tasks, with daily practice. It’s important to stick to this idea, and practice it daily to achieve your maximum success.
  • Clear your space, and put things away: Do you work at an office or cubicle everyday? Having a cluttered space, or home can take away from your ability to complete tasks, and makes you less productive. Put your smartphone completely away, and clear off unnecessary clutter when focusing on a task. Once the task has been completely finished, reward yourself with five minutes of time on your phone or laptop. Plus, limiting your time away from your task at hand will help you to temporarily take your mind off your task at hand.
  • Practicing through communications: When you are out, or engaging with friends, practice looking them in the eye, and speaking clearly. Take your time listening to what they are saying, and respond directly to their question. Don’t let your eyes venture off and observe things around you that might be distracting. Don’t think about anything else, but the conversation in front of you- that is considered multitasking, too! Plus, remaining engaged with your peers shows respect and courtesy to the conversation at hand.

Avoid Multitasking

As you can see, there are very simple ways that we can reduce our multitasking issues, via very simple processes. Though smartphones prove to be one of the largest distractions and causes of multitasking, practicing effective communication skills as well as clearing your space are other simple steps we can take to become more successful, by avoiding multitasking. It’s always been known, those who focus on one thing at a time generally come out ahead, and achieve optimum success in the long run!

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The Real Deal with Multitasking

The real deal with multi-tasking is that it takes away from our focus, it makes us inefficient, and it means we are sacrificing quality for quantity. That never produces the best results. While we may never achieve perfection, we also should never settle for less than the best we can do in that moment.

Staying focused on one thing, whether at work or at home means we will be better at everything we do, and living intentionally unbalanced will bring us greater success.

What are some ways that you have found help to reduce your multitasking issues at home, or work?