What are you doing right now? Reading this article with a child on your lap, the television on, a load of clothes in the machine, supper on stove, another child doing homework, checking email, and …
Or are you at work right now reading this online while emailing your husband, talking with a co-worker, typing up a report, going thru a pile of paper, and waiting on hold on the phone?
The latest trend is a level of multitasking known as “hypertasking. ” It is the state in which you appear extraordinarily busy at all hours of the day but actually produce very little. (Trendwatching.com) Women often feel compelled to do it all.
Today, women play more roles than ever before: Wife, Mother, Teacher, Daughter, Businesswoman, Athlete with each role encompassing its own long list of duties. During the course of a busy day how do women find time for the role of self, let alone a five-minute shower? This chance to re-charge is a key symptom of “hypertasking. ”
With the terms hypertasking and its predecessor multitasking coming from computer terms, we have to remember that we are human. Unlike a computer we need to shut down and re-charge. Research has found that our brains are not made to jump back and forth between a number of tasks. “Mommy brain” is not just in our imaginations. It is our brains reaction to all the things we are trying to do at once.
Studies have found that people can lose up to 40% of their productivity by doing too much at one time. Hypertasking is affecting everyone around us from our extremely over scheduled children, to our work place, to our formally relaxed homes. We need to realize that while multitasking is beneficial in some cases hypertasking is going too far.
With our ever increasing to do lists, what can we do to eliminate hypertasking?
Awareness - Begin to pay attention to how often you have “Mommy Brain” - need to re-read, re-repeat or re-do something. Roughly time how long things are actually taking does the time make sense? Become aware of how much is too much for you some multitasking does work.
Focus - Many jobs are accomplished much quicker and easier if we focus in on them. Start with ten minutes and focus on the job at hand. Get one phone call made, one bathroom cleaned or one report completed. Once we see how much more we can get done by focusing we will find ways to increase the length of time we focus.
Prioritize - Carefully look at all the different roles you play in life and what is involved with each. Pick the most important pieces and focus upon these. Begin to let go of some things and delegate others. Remember that often saying yes to one thing means saying no to another.
Energize - We can all do more if we are feeling energized. Make sure to take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising and doing something just for you.
In a time of ‘more is better, ’ often less is the key to success and sanity.
Tracy Lyn Moland, B. Ed, is a Mom Expert. From having written the best selling Mom Management, Managing Mom Before Everybody Else (tgot, 2003) to being a highly sought after consultant on the trillion dollar Mom Market, her advice and information has been featured in over 300 media outlets and to many conferences and corporations. For more information on Tracy Lyn's consulting or presentations please visit http://www.TracyLynMoland.com