If multi-tasking was a professional sport or skill at the Olympics, I’d be there. I’d fucking win. And while I’m standing up there on the podium proud as punch receiving my glorious gold medal, I’ll be making efficient use of my time by networking with my fellow medal receivers #goaldiggers, directing someone with very precise instructions to take a photo of me for the gram (all my friends and family know just how precise we’re talking about here), all the while singing the national anthem (in tune, of course) and thinking up the next thing I have to tick of my ‘to do’ list. I currently have 21 tabs open in this window of Google Chrome (plus I have another google chrome window open too, let’s not even go there), I’ve replied to 5 different emails, snapchats, FB messages, iMessages in the space of 4 minutes while writing this introduction, I’m sipping away on three different beverages because who would just settle for one and while I’m writing this I’m using my virtual calendar (the one in my head) to think of the best time to book in two Goal Digger Introduction Coaching Sessions with two new potential clients.
Am I a Goal Digger? No! I’m fucking crazy. Am I a Multi-tasking Queen? Yes! But I’m still fucking crazy.
Here’s why. Now let’s bring some structure back into my life by breaking down why my multi-tasking is in fact fucking mental, resulting in me feeling stressed out, unproductive, overwhelmed and all over the bloody show, into two factual chunks of reasoning. See, structure. Calm down. Relax. Let’s look at one thing at a time.
A) Nothing is getting done. Okay no, I’m lying. I’ve nailed multi-tasking so that shit does get done. But it’s not getting done with my full attention, my full potential or my full determination. I really am struggling right now to ignore every notification that is popping up and every idea that is bouncing around in my brain. Full focus is on this blog post. Right here, right now (If you sung that in your head with the tune of old mate Fat Boy Slim, I like you, I like you a lot). Let’s go.
B) Nothing is getting my full attention. You know the Be More Present message I send out to you all, yeah nah, currently a no-go. Sorry!! #fraud. The only time that anything gets my full attention at the moment is when I am coaching a client. I switch my data off on my phone. I turn off all notifications on my laptop. I clear my desk (I keep the beverages though). I close down unneeded tabs. My focus and my energy is 100% on them. And you know what? It is amazing, productive, fulfilling and motivating. So how do we put that much dedication into everything we do?
Here are 5 strategies that I am going to implement as of right now to rid myself of my multi-tasking crown (although there is always a time and place, right?)
1. Close your fucking tabs
This one is going to challenge my integrity, it gave me heart palpitations and sweaty palms just thinking about it. Ok guys, only keep three tabs open in your internet browser at one time. THREE TABS AND THREE TABS ONLY! Three tabs should be heaps! Three tabs is heaps!! (Currently going to close 18 tabs BRB) Holy shit, that actually feels better already!! Now I can focus on the task at hand without worrying about when I’ll put my order through for 100% Organic Bamboo G-Strings from Australia #priorities.
2. Allocate yourself time
Time and I have a love hate relationship because to me time is just an illusion. I mean who invented time? What is time? Are we in the present? Does the present exist? Or is there only the past and the future? (Another blog post entirely, see, fuck it, I’m multi-tasking again!!) Okay but if we are going to go all mainstream and define time as the days, weeks, months in a year and the seconds, minutes, hours in a day then yes we can allocate time. So for each ‘task’ you have to get done today, allocate yourself time. Once that time is up, move on to the next ‘task’ and allocate yourself more time tomorrow for anything unfinished. E.g. Write blog post 60 minutes (could probably take 42 minutes if I stopped multi-tasking), strength training circuit 45 minutes (break it down, I know the workout itself takes 30 minutes, 7.5 minutes each side to get organised, pack up etc.), emails 30 minutes in the morning (seriously I need to do this as of tomorrow, emails are multi-tasking enemy number one). But make sure you allocate time for stalking, dance parties and eating Whittakers Dark Almond Chocolate too, all that fun stuff.
3. Sign out of Facebook
Oh my god, please don’t reprimand me, but holy shit somebody had to say it. Facebook is like a sneaky multi-tasking minx that wants you to fail at life. What a shit head!!! Turn off your notifications, better yet log out off the app or the website if you’re on your laptop. I am repeating myself over here but give yourself an allocated time that you go on to Facey and check out what the ex is up to (no don’t, don’t do that), see what your annoying acquaintance from school is moaning about this week (just unfriend them, go on I know you want to) or see what epic events you’ve been invited to (or haven’t been invited to haha). If you are like next level wanting to get your shit together then you could make the huge call and delete the app off your phone. Big fucking call though. That is like nek level anti-multi-tasking terrorist group stuff. You have my full support and admiration, let the force be with you.
4. #priorities and focus
Write down everything you think you have to do at the start of the day, but choose three MUST DO’s that take top priority over the other things. The other things aren’t quite as important and the world won’t end if they don’t get done until tomorrow (or the next day, week, month, year ….) Must do’s could involve paying the power bill, creating a meal plan for the week ahead, giving your baby a bath, sending through your job application, anything that has repercussions if it is not completed ASAP (think no power, toast for dinner, stinky baby and no job). Other things, the non must do’s, may include ordering 100% Organic Bamboo G-Strings from Australia, painting your toenails or folding the washing (you don’t actually need to make this a #1 priority, the world still spins while your washing sits in the washing basket, it’s not going anywhere!). Oh and don’t forget to focus, ignore anything else, it’s not the priority at this point in time, unless someone needs an ambulance, like that time my sister gave birth to my niece down the hallway and my Mum had to deliver the baby with step by step instructions from the ambulance officer, I’ll make an allowance for something like that. Do the must do’s and you’ll be feeling accomplished, fulfilled and productive in no time.
5. Love thyself
At the end of the day, we’re all pretty fucking incredible. Yes, even you! ALL OF US!! Sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning is an achievement in itself. I still have those days (you better believe it Snapfam!) and that was my life for weeks circa December 2016 (shout out to my friends who motivated me to get out of bed and shower before returning to bed again #goals). So be kind to yourself. Like really, truly. Reflect daily on all the amazing things you do for the people around you, for yourself, for your friends, for your family. It might not be winning a gold medal at the Olympics, saving $10,000 or running a half marathon in under 60 minutes but we all make small achievements daily. You might not think you’re smashing it but my gorgeous #GDNZSQUAD you are. You totally are! We all need to work on being more present, focussing on the task at hand and letting go of ‘need to do’s’ because life’s too short to put the luxing before hanging out with friends or getting a massage. Love yourself and the rest will flow. I’ve got your back! Less multi-tasking, more living an authentic purpose-filled life! Oh and Whittakers Dark Almond Chocolate #notsponsored #thankssimon.
Bonus tip (this is one I usually only share with my coaching clients, lucky much?)
If you use google docs (if you don’t you need to start) open up a tab, I’ll allow a fourth tab for this, think yourself incredibly lucky, and create a new blank doc called Brain Farts. Whenever your brain thinks of something off ‘task’ flick over to that, write it in, then refocus on what you’re meant to be doing, like writing a blog post that I can tell you did definitely not only take 60 minutes to write. If you’re not technology based (no judgement) then use anything that will work for you, whiteboard, piece of A4 paper straight out of the printer, a tissue, toilet paper, just whatever is accessible at the time of the brain fart.