When you own a small business, there’s so much to be done. If you have a small staff, it helps, but most of us are sole proprietors. We do everything from customer service to accounting. Often, we are multitasking just to get it all done. At the end of the day, there’s still more to do. So why is your method not productive?
The answer is simple: You’re trying to do too much all at once.
According to Wikipedia, “Because the brain cannot fully focus when multitasking, people take longer to complete tasks and are predisposed to error.” When we multitask our brain doesn’t know which activity to focus on and therefore, doesn’t really pay attention to any task.
It will actually take you longer to complete activities if you’re trying to multitask. “A study by Meyer and David Kieras found that in the interim between each exchange, the brain makes no progress whatsoever. Therefore, multitasking people not only perform each task less suitably but lose time in the process.” (Wikipedia)
So how do you remedy this situation when you’re trying to do all the other things? If you focus all your energy on one task at a time, you will not only get it done faster but there will be fewer mistakes in your work.
Time management is your friend. Set up a schedule to allocate certain tasks to a certain time of day.
Have systems in place that allow you to complete tasks efficiently. Automate what you can and preplan other things. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed and keep you on schedule.
Make to-do lists. Highlight what’s urgent. Do that thing first and then when time allows, do the other items on the list. If you have a hard time distinguishing between urgent and non-urgent tasks, consider keeping multiple lists.
With today’s technology, you can find so many apps and programs that will automate your business and keep you on task. Do a little research, and with a little practice, you’ll be managing your time and productivity like a pro.