Sunday, January 20, 2008

MT Brains

With the year still young, my motivation is still high to put new systems in place -- and THIS year really be organized. That’s a challenge for a Multi-Tasker like me. But since I’ve been acting obnoxiously motivated this month – participating in tele-classes on positive thinking and seminars that discuss proper file labeling (free tip: the experts prefer Dymo for their label-making), I’ve become shamed into making SOLO-Tasking part of the plan.

Here’s why: who knew multi-tasking was less efficient!?

Some darn research study showed that it actually slows you down! That’s just not acceptable in NYC or for a juggler like me. It’s the ramp up time required when your brain has to shift from one activity to the other and back again. But I don’t know. That’s kind of like the MTA’s 1999 decision to stop having the train conductors say “PLEASE stand clear of the closing doors" because it takes an additional 1.2 second or something like that to mind your Ps & Qs and could slow down the oh-so-on-time NY subways.

But I digress. My point is not about the MTA so much as MTB – that is, MT Brain. (Get it?)

Turns out there’s another reason to minimize multi-tasking: It can make you, well, stoopid. Since I’m trying to live the solotasking advice, I downloaded a time tracker for my projects. I start the clock when I’m working on one thing, then switch the clock to track the next. It’s amazing how time doesn’t fly sometimes.

Now, I’m a really good project manager, used to having a lot of balls in the air at once; it’s the nature of overseeing multiple projects like sweepstakes or email campaigns. But I realized there were times I was stopping the clock on one program and starting it on another in, like, 43-second a hummingbird on pollen. And since the program won’t let you run the clock on two projects at once, my resolution is to minimize those under-a-minute increments per task, and really dedicate myself to one project for longer chunks...or at least for however long my Starbucks stays hot, because then I have to hop up and zap it, and while I’m up I might as well check the headlines and before I settle back down to my project at hand, I’ll just sneak a peak at that email that just came in even though I really should wait for the dedicated hour each morning I’m supposed to carve out for responding to emails according to that Organization Therapist who prefers the Dymo.

But it seems I once again digress. And my email alert just rang and my fingers are itching to check my inbox, and that means I have to stop the darn clock to shift tasks. So I’ll have to use my next entry to explain why I’m recommending some solo-tasking for others, too. Not just for your brain’s sake, but for the good of humanity. Or at least your close circle of friends. It’s the MTT factor....

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