For a natural, long in the tooth, multi tasking woman, I have prided myself in my ability to juggle, get lots of stuff done at a time and do several jobs at once. I have assumed that this makes me a good person, who works hard in life. It is simply something I have learned since being a little girl.
I have operated this approach to life in my business too. Lots of long lists on Trello, lots of different types of clients, types of work and my fingers in lots of pies. I like it this way – I certainly don’t like my days to be the same! So this is all good right?
Wrong! I have come to realise that I have taken this ability to do many things at once was beginning to be an addiction that was reducing my productivity. My typical morning would be to get up early, make packed lunches, get the kids up etc and then immediately to get onto my emails to get a headstart on the day. I would get involved in my work and forget to feed the dog and run around late to take my youngest to school. My emails would be half done and there was no plan for tea or the rest of the day. My working day would then start in earnest but those emails were still not completed as a job and I would then be in the throws of the day. My kids would come home from school and I would then have a panic about the meal and who needed a lift where. You get the picture of domestic bliss!! Suffice to say, my days were hectic, I would forget key jobs and I would land in bed at the end feeling fraught with another long list for the next day.
I now stick to the Power of One – that is the power of doing one job at a time or wearing one hat at a time. I now get up just as early but I am fully focussed on my ‘Mum jobs’ until they are complete – that it everything tidy, meal made or planned for later and a list of essentials for the day. Only then do I move to my day job. The day job might start a little later but it starts with a clear head and tidy surroundings!
I carry this power of one throughout the day. I am blogging right now so am ignoring my social media and emails until this is complete. I have made a list of the a few of the essential jobs and the ‘nice to also complete’ jobs and I stick to each one in order. I am no longer allowing myself to return to my juggling addiction.
Don’t get me wrong – curve balls are thrown in! However, if the phone goes or something urgent comes up, I can side step, complete that new task and then get back to my list.
I feel calmer, ordered and I know that when I start a task, I finish it. I go to bed with a clear picture in my head of what I have achieved (not a longer list of what I started but never finished!). My husband has just limped in on crutches after an op and I have just said that I will get this finished before I grab him some lunch! Don’t laugh – this is a revolution to me – I would previously have immediately made myself available for the next task thinking that I could always get back to the blog later.
So – use the power of one in your own business. Don’t be addicted to craziness and chaos but choose to go slow and productive.