Everyone knows that multi-tasking makes you less efficient. That’s sooo 2005. But maybe multi-tasking isn’t that bad. Maybe the problem lies in what we’re multi-tasking. Instead of trying to juggle different tasks, maybe we could switch between different physical contexts of life like social, mental and spiritual. D*I*Y Planner has a blueprint for this, and I think it’s a good one.
My prime example, and one I do twice a day now, is to walk to and from work (about 40-50 minutes walk, either way) and listen to audio books on the iPod. I could take my bike or the bus, but the former precludes me from wearing headphones (that would be irresponsible, in traffic) and the latter leaves me feeling lazy. (Well, that and the fact that my local bus doubles as the high school bus, filled to capacity with boisterous teenagers who enjoy pulling each others’ fingers.) So I walk to work, rain or shine, snow or sleet, with Plato, Shunryu Suzuki, BBC/CBC documentaries, David Allen, Stephen R. Covey, Seth Godin, Dale Carnegie, sundry industry podcasts, or other speakers buzzing in my ear. Every now and then, when I want to remember something, I haul out my pen and an index card, and jot down a note. In effect, I’m combining physical improvement with mental and spiritual improvement.
By switching contexts we can maximize our time and foster more creativity and productivity. Sometimes we only focus on productivity in our professional lives, but productivity is most effective if used in every aspect of our lives. Great post Doug!