It’s a known fact that women are better at multi-tasking than men. Whilst this is no doubt a wonderful skill, do you struggle to know when to multi-task or when you need to give a particular task your time, diligence and attention?
Multi-tasking is great when we have lots on our list of things to do. The thing to consider though, is the ‘doing’ of things without being conscious. When everything in our lives becomes second nature, we miss out on the opportunities for learning and appreciation. How we operate on a daily basis will define how we fulfill ourselves and respect our daily highs and lows.
If we choose to spend our time trying to get as many things done as possible, we’ll be operating from a state of mindlessness. It ends up feeling like we’re on a hamster wheel. And from that point, it’s easy to see why life may appear relentless.
It’s important to choose the tasks where you need to be present, attentive and considerate instead of just ‘doing’ to get the task done.
Accepting that everyone works differently and identifying how you work will allow you to become more aware of your tasks, so that you move to a place where you choose to focus and pay attention versus grinding through the rat race to tick items off your list.
Here are three things to think about:
Does your brain function better in the mornings or afternoons?
What are you doing to manage your energy levels?
Is it a new task or something you’re experienced in?
Establishing whether your brain functions optimally in the mornings or evenings will give you an indication of when best to do the tasks that require attention, care, are new or require thinking. Over the years, I’ve identified that my brain works best in the mornings. So, if I’m doing a task that requires thinking or is something new that may take more time or involves learning, it’s best for me to work on those tasks early in my day. By about 4pm my brain power and energy levels drop, so don’t think I’ll be working on anything that requires strategy, planning or figures past that time! By understanding how I operate, I can honour my Self and show up as my best Self by planning my day around how my mind and body functions.
Just as important as understanding your optimal thinking times, is learning your energy levels. Maintaining a steady high energy during your optimal brain power time will provide sustenance to get you through. If my thoughts are focused on my hunger, tiredness, low level energies because I haven’t looked after my own needs then I’ll struggle to make best use of my power brain time. Identifying how to manage or maintain optimum energy levels will get you through any day, especially for those tasks you need to pay attention to. This simply means doing something for your Self, so that you feel nourished in whatever way you may need as an individual, for instance eating when your body tells you you’re hungry, getting air and exercise and trying to avoid relying on processed sugary pick me ups during the day.
Plan your days around the types of tasks you have to do. If you’re experienced in something, it’s probably become second nature to you, in which case and if you’re like me when it comes to the afternoons use that time to multi-task the items on your list that require little to no thinking. This allows you to prioritise your task list in a way that suits your brain power and energy levels. I tend to use mornings to strategize, plan and do anything related to numbers. Others tasks that I consider admin or that require low-level thinking get tackled when I don’t need to be present and they just need to get done.
It's worth having a think about how you work, your best times of the day, when you feel your energy slumps and what you do to get out of them. Fuelling your brain and body with what it needs, with a little careful planning around your tasks and when best suits you to complete them will allow you to know when to multi-task, instead of taking your time and being present in your day.
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