Every few years there is a new movement that tells us we’re doing things incorrectly. Don’t eat salt! Wait—salt is okay. Don’t eat carbs! Hold on—carbs aren’t completely bad.
Turns out, today’s finding will be tomorrow’s wrong way of doing things.
Recently, productivity experts and research studies have proclaimed that multitasking doesn’t work. Instead, “singletasking” is the way to go if you want to increase productivity.
But is singletasking realistic for women in business? Is it realistic for women in general?
I think most mothers would agree that we can’t survive without multitasking. I can get 10 things done in the amount of time it takes my husband to do one thing. I’m not complaining. Women just function differently then men. My “on” mode is far more productive than his. I think most women find themselves in similar situations, and it doesn’t just happen at home. We see it in our work environments every day, too.
Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, but if you don’t believe me, I’ll issue this challenge. Ask 20 mothers if they believe that multitasking works and if it makes them more or less productive. I’m willing to bet that the majority would say multitasking not only works, but also, it’s essential to their survival.
Can I multitask effectively? Yes. I’m doing it right now. As I type, I’m watching my kids in the background, thinking about what I’m going to do for work next, and thinking about what the family will have for dinner. That’s are four things and they’ll all be completed before or when I hit the publish button and publish this article. And guess what? I really don’t think the quality of this post would improve significantly if I “singletasked” it.
So to any woman who is questioning her ability to multitask or wondering if she needs to completely reinvent how she gets things done, I have a recommendation that my sister who has seven children, works full time and is getting her Ph.D. (all at the same time) gave me shortly after my triplets were born.
Here’s the advice:
Do what works for you. Don’t worry about what everyone else thinks or what the experts tell you that you should be doing. Create the system that works for you. Ultimately, you’ll not only be happier, but you’ll naturally be more productive.
I’m a multitasker. I’m not a morning person. I drink too much caffeine. I’m not perfect (not even close), and I definitely don’t follow all of the “rules” research and experts tell me I should follow. But guess what? I love my work. My family is healthy, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life. Why? Because as an entrepreneur, I have the freedom to make my own choices. Just because what works for me isn’t the recommended “right way” to do things doesn’t mean it’s “wrong.” And if it is wrong, then I’m okay with that. I’m still going to do things my way and that includes multitasking.
Now, I have to go tell my 10-year old triplets to stop arguing before I hit that publish button. See—multitasking. I’m not going to stop.
Kelley Keller says
Great post! It’s so refreshing to hear “non-expert” expert advice that says … to thine own self be true!
For me, multitasking works. As a mom, I do it as well. I work while planning what’s for lunch and dinner. Sometimes, I work while at the same time tutoring my kid on his homework. Multitasking helps get more work done in any given time.
Susan Gunelius says
Kelley, you’re right – if it works for you, keep on doing it!
Susan Gunelius says
Greg, I work while helping my kids with their homework, too! Glad to hear I’m not alone on that one.