Do you consider yourself a champion multitasker? Many business owners take pride in squeezing every ounce of productivity they can from the working day. But did you know that true multitasking is a fallacy? What we typically think of as performing more than one duty at a time is really nothing more than rapidly shifting our focus from one endeavor to another.
Are you a serial tasker?
You may be surprised to learn that task-switching, or serial tasking as it’s sometimes called, is anything but the efficient use of time we believe it to be. When we “multitask”, we actually:
- make more mistakes than when we concentrate on a single objective
- take longer to accomplish tasks where mental focus is required
- don’t remember nearly as many details when we’re done
Attempting to juggle multiple jobs simultaneously is unproductive at best, and can be bad for your business in the long run. In fact, some studies have found that productivity is lowered by as much as 40% when we engage in multitasking. Small wonder then that half of all startups, with their many balls in the air, cease to exist past the first two years.
Single-task your way to success
Unfortunately, the digital age has made it virtually impossible for the average business to remain competitive without some way to outperform the competition. For most, this translates into a fierce need to accomplish more, in less time. Today, more than ever, multitasking seems like the only option for the organization that wants to get ahead, and stay there.
But there are alternatives to subjecting yourself, and those who work for you, to the endless pressures of trying to get more done – and they’re built on the concept of playing to your strengths. Companies that encourage managers and other personnel to devote their energies to a specific area of expertise, stand to benefit from the advantages of single-tasking. The upside of single-tasking includes:
- measurable improvements in business performance
- fewer instances of employee and entrepreneurial burnout
Sometimes however, there simply isn’t enough time or staff to deal with the special development projects and one-off marketing assignments that many companies require. And that’s where delegation and outsourcing plays a key role in producing outstanding results that still fall inside necessary budget restrictions.
Rather than taking on the expense of hiring additional help or – heaven forbid – reverting to your serial tasking ways, consider outsourcing to a professional. Ventures where success hinges on specialized knowledge and experience, such as software development, tax audits, data management, and direct mail marketing for example, are ideal for putting the power of delegation to work. Not only will you save time, reduce stress, and avoid costly professional missteps, your business will be far more likely to meet its project deadlines with results guaranteed by an expert.