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83 thoughts on “Multitasking Your Projects – Shoemoney ?s Ep. 11”
Maybe I’m not OCD enough, but I find having 5 projects going is pretty close to overwhelm. I suspect that if I could figure out a way to eliminate 2 of them, I would do better at the remaining 3. I’ve found that being interested in nearly everything is a mixed blessing.
If we could have 4 hands and 48 hours a day 😀
I heard somene say jack of all trades – master of none, i think it was on law and order the other night LOL and it made me realize that I have way too many interests and often too many balls in the air at once. I just cannot imagine any other way, since I too am interested in so many different things.
As C.S. Clarke, Ph.D. related, “much has been written about the pros and cons of multitasking and those on both the pro side and the con side cite studies that support their notions. Both sides have excellent evidence and reasoning to support their stance. Both sides are right. Multitasking can be done and it is efficient and productive. Multitasking is impossible and dangerous to attempt.”
I don’t think spreading yourself too thin is a good idea. If you’re doing things all by yourself then I can’t imagine how you could possibly come up with quality output given that you’re doing a lot of things at one time.
It depends on the person doing it. I know of some who thrive on multitasking. From what I’ve seen, they’ve done well on their projects.
Pattaya Daily News published way back that the way of life these days has become quite fast with having to, rush back and forth to work, school, shopping, appointments as well as taking phone calls, cooking cleaning, demand makes the list is endless, so we tend to try and do as many thing in one go as is possible and this we call â€˜multitaskingâ€™. Is this some form of dependence, Shoe? Any thoughts?
It’s too distracting for me. I think about the things I need to do for each task, which is a waste of time. I’d rather concentrate on one task first before I take on more.
To tell you the truth, I discovered multitasking when I had my first child. When the second baby came along, I knew I was a natural because I could feed one and make the other take his medicine without difficulty.
Yeah I also find that concentrating on one thing is best for me.
@enajyram00 I agree, multitasking is like being the jack of all trades and the master of none: You get a lot of little things done, but will never change the world.
I’m so used to multitasking that I tend to slack off when I’m not handling more than one task at a time. I guess, like me, some people are just wired to multitask.
Yeah, I actually have lots of time but don’t necessarily manage my time all that well. I spend a lot more time reading your blog (and others) than I should. 😉
Doing two projects at once is kind of fun, most times. But it can be extremely stressful and prone to errors. That’s why I multi-task only if it’s absolutely necessary for me to do so.
Sure, multitasking can help us accomplish multiple items on a to-do list, but does doing multiple things at the same time affect our ability to do those tasks well? What’s your opinion on this, Jeremy?
Much has been written about the pros and cons of multitasking and those on both the pro side and the con side cite studies that support their notions. Both sides have excellent evidence and reasoning to support their stance. Both sides are right. Multitasking can be done and it is efficient and productive. Multitasking is impossible and dangerous to attempt. Nonetheless, doing things one at a time is absolutely the winning choice in my book.
I do that all the time, too. 🙂
Ha ha “That was a great intro.”
Nice vid! I like the background, much better than the wall-with-whiteboard thing you’ve had going there for some time.
Hey what happened to the scenic backgrounds? Hope you could have a video post with the Eiffel Tower, Shoe. Best wishes from the Big Apple.
How about posting a video post about the Elite Retreat, Shoe? Besides giving us a preview of the activities you had, we tenderfoots would all love to learn a secret or two you’ve kept up your sleeve just for the event.
Where’s the LIKE button when you need one?
I like to have two projects. That way, I can use each of them as an excuse for not getting the other one done.
LOL. Nice one!
LOL! This is the funniest comment in this thread. 😛
It’s not exactly multitasking when you’re delegating the actual work to others, right? Unless you personally supervise everything.
I completely agree with you on this one. Multitasking is when a person is doing two or more things at a given time. What Shoe has just expounded on is the subject of delegating tasks to others and supervising.
Moreover, I think multitasking is just plain nuts. Focusing on one task at a time is probably the best task to do. The reason is because a person does not get distracted by another task being performed simultaneously. Problems as a result of split attention do not occur. Doing one task at a time is less dangerous, too.
Multitasking basically allows progress on multiple tasks, even if the progress is minimal. Helps move several projects or chores or perhaps assignments toward a single deadline.
Oneâ€™s ability at work organization is, therefore, a key to determine whether multitasking is good or a bad for an individual. It is good and beneficial if one can effectively harness such techniques such as time management and priority-setting. Enough said. Time for my Riesling.
Big idea of the day:
What we can learn is to prioritize our tasks and projects in terms of both their importance and the duration required to complete them. Tasks that are very important and which should be of high quality should be given our singular attention. Tasks that are of short duration should be completed in one sitting so that we don?t waste time breaking them up and coming back to them.
Got anything to add, Shoe?
Multitasking is alright as long as you *know* you can finish all your endeavors without regretting you multitasked in the first place…
I read from a Harvard Business Review post that doing several things at once actually causes productivity to go down as much as 40%. That in reality, you’re not actually multitasking when you do that, just switching task. So I guess, multitasking’s okay if you have people who can help you deal with the details or take over the tasks involved. But if you’re doing the stuff yourselves, handling several projects at one time might not be such a good idea.
I hope my professors get to read that article. If there’s one thing college taught me it’s the need for multitasking.
Here’s a nice read on why multitasking is not only insufficient but stressful as well — http://blogs.hbr.org/bregman/2010/05/how-and-why-to-stop-multitaski.html
Great read! Thanks very much for the info. 🙂
Like Jeremy said, you can take on as many projects as you can that you can actually do a great job with. Once efficiency and quality are compromised though you have to be prepared to drop a few so you can focus on finishing the most urgent ones.
Yeah. You need to prioritize when you’re multitasking. That way you can easily choose which ones to drop.
Multitasking’s fine as long as you don’t do it on a daily basis. Otherwise, you’ll have no time to recharge because you’re always stuck with work.
Multitasking divides our attention which often means that the quality of work on any given task is lower when multitasking than if we had approached the task with a singularity of focus. Plus, we may waste time moving back and forth between tasks because we need to remind ourselves of where we were when we left off. Catch my drift?
It’s all a matter of scheduling. Spending chunks of time from one task to another helps you get more things done.
I agree. Then you can start of with 10 projects at once and see which of the top 20% is producing the best results, Then concentrate on those 20%
Multitasking can help you learn how to deal with distractions and interruptionsâ€”because life doesnâ€™t stop happening just because you are busy.
Society is continually becoming more and more technologically wired. The ability to use multiple technologies simultaneously will keep people of all ages with adaptable, relevant, and employable. However, it doesn’t mean if your computer or iPod can multitask that you should do the same, too…
I often feel swamped when I’m multitasking. I don’t think I’m at my best when I do it.
I think multitasking comes naturally for everyone especially with the technology available that allows us to do it. As long as you’re getting the results you want then there’s really no harm in it, right?
I came across an excerpt from author Evelyn Gray’s article titled, â€œIs Multitasking Good or Bad?â€ the other week and learned that doing more than one thing at a time actually confuses the brain and increases a personâ€™s stress level.
Gray added that when it comes to the workplace and multitasking â€œYou up your stress level, you lose your clarity and your productivity level, and the bottom line is, you put in longer hours and make less money.â€ Any thoughts on this, Shoe?
Consider the good and poor choices when multitasking. What tasks require more focused attention? Is there a danger involved? In some cases, it’s more beneficial to back to the old fashioned way of doing one thing at a time and get more done with better focus. Ease back, do it one task at a time and do a great job!
Multi-tasking’s more focused on quantity, on getting more things done. But it doesn’t guarantee quality. Sometimes, a task performed while multi-tasking takes a longer time to finish than it would if you focused on it.
It’s hard to focus when you’re multitasking. I have long ago found out that I’m more productive if I concentrate on one job at a time than moving from one task to another. Not much stress that way.
I do agree that the video post has provided a lot of relevant information about multi-tasking. Nonetheless, Jeremy explicitly highlighted those who have gone up their way up the ladder and have the resources to hire a capable staff to oversee projects. I thought there would be anything applicable for a lone startup online blogger/web marketer like me. 🙁
I can truly relate to this one. How about having a video post about multitasking sans the million dollars you’re earning, buddy?
It must be great to have an army (in fact, I’d be happy with a platoon) of staff that would help me out.
It’s more of fitting two simpler tasks around each other. But if you’re working on something more complex then you need to concentrate on that task first if you want good results.
There are certain tasks that require your full attention. Driving, for instance. Statistics prove that using your mobile device while driving is extremely dangerous.
For some things that simply need your undivided attention, multitasking’s not the way to go.
Did you know that studies using MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging) found that when a person engaged in multitasking, the flow of blood to particular areas of the frontal cortex increased? With training, the brain is able to learn to switch tasks effectively, but it is found that multitasking can contribute to the release of stress hormones and adrenaline which if not controlled can cause long term health problems.
Is it just me or does anybody else think that tasks that require deeper concentration are more difficult to switch between? Research shows that the actual act of switching between two things actually takes longer mentally. Thatâ€™s because our brain assigns rules to how we do something, and switching between tasks means closing one set of rules and opening another.
Here’s a thought. Would you allow a surgeon to operate on you and another patient at once?
Working on one task at a time doesn’t mean you’re less productive.
It’s easy for those of you who are rushed and trying to get everything on your to-do lists done, to save time and do things simultaneously. But anything worth doing is worth doing well, as they say, and you alone are the judge of what will suffer as the result of your rushed pace and misplaced attentions.
Thanks, Shoe. I have one quick query though: Tenderfoots like us don’t have, like you said, “an army” to take care of our web marketing efforts. Got anything insightful to add when you’re going it alone?
Don’t bite more than what you can chew. My mom used to say that to me. It all made sense to me when I was starting my online business. Ideas keep popping. I wanted to do more for the business. But since I run it alone, I couldn’t do everything at once. It’s when I focused on the more important projects that I seemed to have achieved more.
Point taken but the gist of the discussion here is Shoe and Seth can hire a battery of smart individuals to do their work for them. What about us newbies who are just starting? 🙁
You probably know enough about time management to get by.
Effective work-flow prioritization is much better than multi-tasking. It’s more organized and there’s greater chance of efficiently accomplishing important tasks.
Statistics show that people that take up more than one task at a time are unable to focus and perfect each task. Attention has to be divided among all of the projects at hand. Just like driving and texting at the same time.
Some of us are better at doing two or more things at once than others. Just accept it, alright? 😛
Instead of using technology as tool to multitask, it is used as a distraction. What would appear to be multitasking is really procrastination. Think: Facebook, Twitter, Cracked.com, MySpace (if it’s still around) and YouTube. Ideally, multi-tasking should accomplish many tasks simultaneously but instead many projects end up half complete.
The word multitask is supposed to refer to computers that have more than one window open and running at the same time. But now, it is much more frequently used to describe what we do. I guess computers are so involved in our daily routines these days that we seem to have “followed” some of their traits. 😛
It’s why I love my iPad. It doesn’t support multitasking. It’s nice to have a gadget that won’t tempt me to a lot of things, especially if I want to unwind.
That’s why I hate iPads. Dang too overrated.
Well, I prefer to leave the multitasking to machines.
The brain is the ultimate multitasker. It computes millions of message from neurons at a single time. But just like any other muscle, it can be taxed and get tired. Known as executive function, the brainâ€™s ability to make multiple decisions can easily tire it out thus making it a less-effective decision maker.
Try to ask a juggler to solve a math problem for you.
I’m the same way about how I take things in, but for now I’m only working on one project at a time. I guess I’m not at that level yet…
Being able to do many things at one time has become the modern mania. Multitasking leaves too much room for error and performance may be sub-par.
No time to get bored when you’re busy juggling multiple tasks.
There’s a greater chance of making mistakes when you’re mind’s being pulled in different directions. Because that’s what happens when you keep piling more things on your plate.
As long as you’re performing well on all the things you’ve took on then you can multitask as often as you want. If not, maybe it’s time to streamline.
Here is how i see it.
Predict how long a project is going to take working on it 7hrs a day 5 days a week. Let’s say PROJECT A is going to take 5 days to complete.
Now, if you work on PROJECT A for a week – it’s done. Great.
If you are also working on PROJECT B, C, D — and each of them is also going to take 5 days…
It is now going to take 20 days before you see any completed projects.
Unless you have a way of outsourcing your work (staff/interns/etc) — Just order your projects and do the ones with the highest chance of success first.
Working on more than one project does help reduce boredom, but it also let’s you procrastinate – putting off the tedious parts of a project you reach once you hit “the dip”.
The advantage of one project at a time is that you must face “the dip” — and overcome it to complete the hard parts.
Too many people come up with an idea, start it, get bored, and move on to the next project — never completing anything.
For a change guys, Do one thing at once, and see it through.
I remember Shoe bashing Godaddy years ago but now they sponsoring.
there was a time..not all that long ago..when I tried to take on more than I could handle because of how overly optimistic I am…it took me bumping my head a few times and feeling overwhelmed before I figured out what my best workload was. But the only way I figured it out was to get clear on my goals, best uses and resources. As always thanks for the video Jeremy.
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