by Tracie Utter, CPO CPA
Oh, I do. If you are busy then you probably find yourself doing multiple things at once. Maybe you have such a need to get things done that you over schedule, over book, over think and over do a lot. You get so used to it, it feels normal to always be doing something.
When you slow down, you start to think that you are missing a deadline, you are falling behind, that something is wrong. You begin to realize that it is more comfortable to always be operating at top speed. So, you keep doing it until you can not stop and it takes effort to relax.
The thing is, when you constantly multitask, you do not perform well and you tend to stop having fun. However, I always thought that I thrive at an intense level. I am driven by getting tasks accomplished. But the more I do it, the more I find I am wrong. Eventually, I do not thrive and I get tired. In fact, that is one of the reasons I changed my career seven years ago from corporate accounting to professional organizer. As an accountant in a corporate environment, I was constantly multitasking. In time, I stopped enjoying my job and realized I was addicted to working. Then I found organizing and although I still multitask, I don’t do it as much and it is under control.
What about you, are you addicted? If so, with any addiction, you have to control yourself or you risk destroying your dreams. Eventually, multitasking results in mistakes, you might be asking too much of yourself. When the next opportunity presents itself, first consider whether you really want to do it. If so, can it replace something else rather than be added to your demanding schedule? Decide whether you want to do a little bit a lot of things or a few things well?
My theory: if you keep control over your schedule, you will enjoy tasks more and perform better. When you allow yourself the opportunity to relax, learn and enjoy the process of a tasks, you get more out of it. Also, consider the quality of your work. It is important to do what you say you are going to do and do it well. Whether the tasks involves your work life or personal activities, you want to be able to depend on yourself. It’s tempting to be more concerned with what other people think of you but what you think of yourself is critical. If you are confident that you can get things done and you actually get them done, you’ll be pleased with yourself. You might even be happier, content, joyful or whatever you desire to feel.