I remember when I first tried to do multitasking, I got overwhelmed.
I think I was trying I update two different computer applications by inputting data in parallel; I was switching back and forth like a madman inputting data between them. You see, back then it took a while for changes to happen to a document so after each saving; it would take a few seconds for the save to complete, giving me time to do a similar process on the other application. I eventually got it done after a few boggled up sessions, and fixes… I’ve learned from experience, that this isn’t the best type of multi-taking!!!
However, as I’m typing this, I’m actually doing two things at the same time! I’m waiting in my car in the middle school parking lot for my son to get out of school on his first day back to school, and obviously, I’m also typing this post!
Yep, I’m multi-tasking the correct way! Multitasking more than one task primarily works best when you have one or more task that don’t require much thinking, paired with only one task that requires you to focus on it a higher degree of attention.
So now that you know my belief around an optimal multitasking system… You may also be wondering what other ways do I maximize time by multitasking more wisely?
Following are my favorite ways to multitask:
Listening to audio books while driving to work. This enables me to optimize my driving time which previously would have been wasted time taken out of my life to drive to my place of employment! My total commute time, both to and from work per day, averages about 1 hour and 15 minutes (on a normal day). So that adds up to 6 hours & 15 minutes I was wasting per week doing nothing but driving mindlessly to work!
At first I tested the waters by listening to a CD I borrowed from the library while driving to work. This worked out great! Next I progressed to Stephen King novels, again this was successful! Then I started listening to classic audio books that I would never listen to, famous novels like “Animal Farm” and “1984”. I even listened to classics that I’ve never heard of before, such an example would be the Ray Bradbury book, “Fahrenheit 451”.
Listening to audio books while driving on vacation trips. Now you may be wondering what the difference is between this and “Listening to audio books while driving to work”? The difference is that listening to such books while driving on vacation trips keeps me awake and delays drowsiness! I’ve only listen to audio books that are very entertaining and exciting enough to keep me awake!
After my recent vacation, I used this technique to drive home at night. Listening to “Insomnia” (ironic huh) by Stephen King, kept me awake. It was a real driving aid, because prior to listening to audio books on vacation trips, I would start to fall asleep after a few hours. Plus I hated driving!
Now, with the help of a good audio book, I can honestly say that I enjoy the driving part of the trip too! This was a huge win-win for me!!!
Reading books while waiting in offices. Hate waiting for the doctor or dentist in the waiting room? Read a book while waiting in the office! I find good biographies (examples like Benjamin Franklin or Warren Buffett) really fill this void! With a biography, the story is a bit drying and anticlimactic, and you can pick up the book weeks later and not miss a beat.
These are some of the ways that I maximize my time by multitasking…
What are your favorite example of tasks that you like to pair together when you multitask?