While it certainly gives us the sense of productivity, I wonder what toll it takes on us and our business relationships. Personally, I am not a good multi-tasker; although I would have told you otherwise throughout most of my business life. Becoming a blogger has opened my eyes to all of the dropped balls that I never saw while struggling to maintain my juggling act.
I came across this article, Task Master: Is doing it all, all at the same time, really the best way? (originally published in Today’s Christian Woman in 2005), and it started me thinking about whether all of this multi-tasking is really good for my small business.
Do I Really Have to do 3 Things at Once to Feel Productive?
I love this question that she asks. It gets to the heart of the matter very quickly. If I were only doing one thing at a time, but doing it very well, would I feel as productive?
Like the author, I have to admit that unless I am doing multiple things at the same time I do not feel productive. I can easily see myself in her recounting one multi-tasking event from her life.
Or I’ll take a stack of correspondence into our family room and tune in a movie I’ve been eager to see. Distracted by the film, I have to read each letter twice, not really connecting with the dear person who’s written to me, nor fully involved with the story on the screen. When a family member joins me and starts to chat, I catch myself scribbling words that make little sense, trying to follow the movie out of the corner of my eye and only half-listening, half-nodding to whatever my loved one is saying.
Somewhere along the way, we have accepted the premise that just because the technology makes it possible that it is something we should do. Have we focused so much on being productive that we’ve forgotten about being effective?
Is Your Productivity Killing Your Relationships?
I often hear from small business owners who complain about the loss of loyalty from their workforce and their customers. Let’s face it. Building strong, long-lasting relationships takes a lot of time and effort.
They are not something that naturally flourish as a result of multi-tasking. All too often, they are the balls that have dropped to the floor during your juggling act. If you’re like me, it may take you a while to notice them laying there on the ground.
Which is why blogging has made me realize that I am not an effective multi-tasker. Blogging is very much about developing that relationship with your readers. I’ve been so busy lately trying to be productive, that this blog became one of those balls on the ground.
What Balls Have Fallen to the Ground for You?
It’s been eye-opening to see something that I have been passionate about growing has so easily been lost in the flurry of productivity. When the author talks about her multi-tasking experience above, did you notice that while she was getting many things done at once that none were being done very well?
How are your relationships with your employees? with your customers? with your family? The moments in life, in business, in relationships that seem to have the most impact are not those moments when we are trying to do many things at once.
Maybe it’s time to start being less productive and more effective?