Remember the craze a few years back about multi-tasking? It was THE topic. I was working for a non-profit at the time, and our manager must have challenged us to multi-task almost everyday for about a year. And of course, in a non-profit you are already wearing so many hats that it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the tyranny (yup that’s what I called it!) of the urgent and need to do so many things at once.
Come to find out, multi-tasking may not always be all it’s chalked up to be. Though in life sometimes you just need to do it, the most effective way to get things done (and done with superb quality) is to focus. I will use myself as an example. Having 4 amazing little children (currently ages 6, 5, 3, and 11 months) I find that working at home just does not work like it use to (anybody out there relate?) I have attempted in the name of ‘multi-tasking’ to both “interact” or “watch” them while on email or doing some sort of work for our business and you will notice 2 things that will inevitably happen within minutes: 1) my work is getting frustratingly sparse and disconnected between breaking up fights, changing diapers, feeding their bottomless bellies, or throwing a ball with them without looking and then 2) my kids notice that my interaction with them is not 100% and DEMAND more. Sigh.
The truth really is what you call multitasking is really task-switching, says Guy Winch, PhD, author of Emotional First Aid: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejection, Guilt and Other Everyday Psychological Injuries. “When it comes to attention and productivity, our brains have a finite amount,” he says. And you probably are not able to switch back and forth with out some sort of lag between tasks, overall taking you longer to do say 2 things versus 1. And in the end we are not really doing any favors for our boss, colleagues, family, and friends trying to give them all the needed attention, effort, work required.
So let’s get to the meat of the issue. What are you good at? I mean, what is your specialty? How much time are you in your element and how much time are you trying to supposedly save time and money and resource by doing it yourself while doing something entirely different at the same time.
For example, I would like to think of myself as a great construction worker but I have learned through some rather painful experiences that I am just not able to do certain things and that I should probably do what I am good at and hire someone else to do that more intense electrical project or finish carpentry work. It always pays off long term.
So when it comes to marketing and the work you are doing, how about taking a moment and thinking how you can best focus. Who can be on your team and how can you be most cohesive as a unit? Maybe process again the strengths of your team and see if any outside contracting help would benefit you. And individually “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” (S Covey) — Specialize and Focus. You will get more done and it will be the best you can do!