Muttitasking is a myth, The only type of multi tasking I know is to think about a problem and then to sleep ! Many of the times I hear people talking, “I can multi task” well most of the times it actually is not it, but just “task switching”. You know it probably is 3:30 pm and you’re so deep and concentrated on your task, coding, designing, reading, planning whatever may it be, and then all of a sudden your phone rings, if you notice carefully, you’re dumping the thought process of your current task and answering the call, ( chances are less that you’d continue “multi tasking” and you’d be doing both them well ! ) What could you’ve done ? You could’ve probably asked your phone to keep mum !
The way I start my day is I ask my self what N ( = 3 ) things I want to accomplish today ? Then visualize those things getting accomplished, just imagine, how good would I feel if these N things get done today. Then what I do ? Then, I accomplish them. Friends, I’ve seen people in my life where they do things and then hope for things to work out, hope is not a strategy ! Few other things I personally use as parameters, are effectiveness (peek a goal and get it — doing right thing) , efficiency ( doing things right way !)
The next is sorting things, prioritizing stuff. Learn to delete items from your list, the items which in particular would fall in 4th quadrant
below. I have a reading list in which I usually maintain a list of books to read, I will be honest, it started going beyond the reality. I love books every time I go to library or a book store or amazon.com I just become vibrant I feel like yes this would be good yes I want this, I want that, and I need that too, and boy this ? It’s a must read ! Enthusiasm is a very good thing, if read all these books in a timely manner, great ! But sometimes books just sit on the shelf and technology becomes outdated !!! Good are the chances that every such book is not to be of your benefit. … probably these all are 4th quadrant things. Get rid of it, you’ll feel good about your self, you’d feel like being more productive. I know as a computer person we all can not let go for most of the part & we all thrive for achieving. But sometimes deleting books from my reading list related to : outdated tech or tangents did not felt like a bad thing after doing it. How many meters away are you from your phone when you wake in the morning ? Another common scenario, 2nd / 3rd quadrant ! Wasting time / resources by elevating it to 1st quadrant, quite often this is just an addiction or improper prioritizing. IMO,1st quadrant is genuinely and critically important, all those 911 calls other have placed on you or the tasks for which some one is breathing on your shoulders ! Make sure that sorting things in 4 quadrants above, I didn’t meant to actually ask you to deal with it, but just to sort it.
Next, try to be aware of of the number and type of interruptions you’ve. For me, emails & notifications. ( in my phone terminology, toast notifications ) Another context switch, very common. You’re in a middle of something and suddenly you get a popup from some of your social accounts, or a text message … mute them ! Back to emails, One email rule to rule them all. I believe that the emails on which you’ve been cc’ed are the emails just for your information and you can read them for later when you’ve a free breathe, do not break the thought process (or a ‘link’) / don’t get distracted and let your concentration break !
| Askhole (n) – A person who always asks for advice then does exact opposite of your suggestion.
I’ve just self learnt this by experience. Many of the times I’ve to mentor someone. Many of the times I have to mentor someone so if Smith Jones, a dev on my team ( fictional character ) writes me an email on how to do accomplish something ? As a reply I had been writing a 1000+ char long essay with annotations, images, code snippets, documentation links … which will solve his problem, I just gifted him my time and efforts to him, for free ! And, I was not sure even if he was going to read all of it. In that case all of my keystrokes & time spent would be wasted ! So friends, what you can do ? You can write a blog, or a product wiki, or in a documentation, knowledge base or anywhere in the universe except the email, because email is where your keystrokes are going to die ! Most often your email to someone should never be longer than 4 lines !
Personal Scrums ! Trying running your life as a scrums, do tiny work sprints instead juggling. Use Pomodoro : http://pomodorotechnique.com/
Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking & indiscriminate action. Timoth Ferris
At the end of the post, I’d wrap up with this picture, do not be that mouse who does “pull to refresh” … “pull to refresh” … if you are aware of the famous experiment with rat, below, you can imagine that yours is very similar ball game !