…is they are difficult to ignore once proven!
I recently couldn’t resist the idea of watching TV while I did work. So I decided to at least make it a test of how much multitasking affects my ability to do something. So I put a random show on the ole’ netflixs and proceeded to work on a crochet project. I was making cute heart shaped coasters for my friend’s upcoming wedding. Without tv (but with coffitivity!) I managed to make one in 42 minutes. With the TV on it took me one hour 10 minutes, plus I messed up the beginning 3 times which I didn’t even count on the timer. Also as an attempt to make it as fair a comparison as possible, I made the one with no TV first, so my second one (with TV) should have gone even faster!
Ugh, now I have proof I can’t ignore. I still don’t really understand the allure though. I don’t like watching TV enough that I just want to do that, but whatever else I engage in ultimately suffers. Hopefully the less I do it, the more I will miss it… but I would love to understand the “why” I do it too!
I am always interested in new ways to be more productive. For the most part when I get enticed to read the latest, “121 ways to make you the epitome of productivity” I finishing having learned nothing new, and actually having just lessen my level for productivity by reading said list. There are a few things that have stood out though, they have been helping me quite a bit over the last few days of trying to not multitask. Here are my top favourites:
I don’t know exactly what it is about a coffee shop that makes me so much more productive. I always assumed it was getting away from my house and minimizing distractions. I’m sure that helps, but maybe it was just the hum of people working that helps me out. Coffitivity is exactly what I need in the background to get me to work. A vague “noise atmosphere” that isn’t TV or music. Whatever the scientific explanation is, it works wonders for me.
2.) Pomodoro Techinque
via wikipedia – “The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. These intervals are known as “pomodori”, the plural of the Italian word pomodoro for “tomato”. The method is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility.”
My biggest hurdle to working on a task is starting. Once I start I can keep my focus pretty well and for a long time. So for me this technique is helpful because the idea of spending only 25 mins on a task doesn’t seem overwhelming at all. Once I start usually 4 or more cycles fly by without a problem… especially with coffitivity on in the background! There are several apps revolving around this technique, but you can also just use a timer, or this website (Tomato timer).
3.) The Email Game
This website is pretty straight forward as well. Basically you enter your email address and you race against a clock to respond to emails. I’m not sure why I am better at playing this “game” than just answering emails when they come in, but I am 🙂
Those are definitely at the top of my list, along with everything I learned from, “Getting Things Done”. So far I can absolutely see how not multitasking is improving my ability to actually complete tasks. It’s just a matter of continuing to put in effort to make not multitasking a habit. Is there a word for not multitasking?? single-tasking, mono-tasking, unitasking, or just tasking? Does anyone know ?