As women and mothers, we might think that we are the masters of multi-tasking, with the demands of kids and work and a social life. And if you're building a network marketing business in your "spare time" (Spare time? What is that?) then you are probably juggling about a dozen thingss at once.
But multi-tasking is actually really terrible for productivity. The more things you try to do at once, and the more tasks you switch between, the more productive time you lose.
What is Task Switching and Why Should You Avoid it at All Costs?
The typical estimate is that you lose 20% of your productive time to task switching.
What does that mean?
That means that every time you switch from one task to another, it takes you time to shift out of the former task and into the new one. This doesn't apply to different tasks within the same project, say researching for a blog post, writing content, and finding relevant stock images. But it does apply to tasks of different sorts, like writing a blog post, checking social media, and organizing play dates.
If you are losing 20% of your productive time each time you switch tasks, then that means that if you are trying to do 2 major tasks in 1 day, you'll have 80% of that day as productive time. Let's say 6.4 hours out of an 8 hour day. You lose 1.6 hours to task switching.
If you're trying to shift between 3 tasks, your productive time goes down to 4.8 hours out of 8.
If you're juggling 4 major things throughout that day, you may only see 3.2 productive hours.
How to Maximize Productivity by Minimizing Task Switching
The easiest way to eliminate the loss of productive time through task switching is to schedule your time and your project in large chunks.
If you are trying to learn a new skill for your business - say blogging, or video marketing, or social media marketing - then pick one new skill and devote the next 3 months to master it before you add another one.
Why 3 months? Because it typically takes about 90 days of real, concerted effort to gain real traction in your business. It takes around 90 blog posts before Google takes you seriously as a website worth listing. It takes around 90 YouTube videos before you get a large number of views, subscribers, and start attracting more and more new people to your channel. And it takes about 90 days of uninterrupted, concerted learning to really grasp a skill set and begin to master it.
On the smaller scale, you should avoid trying to do 1 thing from each of your projects each day: writing blog posts for your business, crafting for your Etsy site, organising events for your book club, redecorating the kids' room, and instead focus on one task for a whole day or longer.
I used to devote a certain number of hours to my graduate studies and a certain number of hours to my online business. But I found that when I was working on my studies I was thinking about running ads and writing blog posts. And when I was writing blog posts, I was thinking about how much time I needed to devote to my studies to make my deadlines.
When I decided to devote whole days to one specific task, and get the most important thing done early in the day, I found that my productivity increased and I was able to get more done even if I was working the same number of hours.
In summary: try revamping your schedule so that you focus on one task for large chunks of time instead of trying to switch tasks throughout the day. The less task switching you can do, the more productive you will be.
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