Let’s get right to it, entrepreneurs end up doing a million things just to get your business running. The fact that you have to wear multiple hats, especially when you are just starting out, can be stressful enough. This doesn’t mean that the usual “multi-tasking” really has any truth to it. Just because you have to manage almost every aspect of your business doesn’t mean multitasking is an effective way to do things.
When entrepreneurs approach the various macro aspects of their business (such as marketing, finance, operations, and logistics), you might have to do it all.
But when you get to the level of projects, tasks, and whatever it is that you’d need to do today, multi-tasking isn’t the best way to go about it.
Gary Keller, in his book, The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, stresses on why you should do fewer things for more effect (and impact) than doing more things that only have side effects.
Success, according to Gary, is built sequentially. He believes that when you focus and do “one thing” right, it works like small dominoes toppling the larger dominoes (and all you have to do is to stack them right).
In short, concentrate on doing one thing at a time.
Typically, entrepreneurs might have to deal with customers every day. As this is happening, you’ll need the marketing engine running. This could be a small marketing engine with simple social media marketing and a monthly email marketing plan for example. Lastly, you need to set up and send invoices (or build a way to accept payments online or offline).
You could do all that, and you should.
Planning your day should have a “mastery” focus and not “mere completion or closure” focus.
As Gary Keller puts it,
“Make sure every day you do what matters most. When you know what matters most, everything makes sense. When you don’t know what matters most, anything makes sense.”
But it’s not just Gary Keller who thinks multi-tasking won’t work; there’s research to prove it.
People who consider themselves to be great multitaskers are often the worst multi-taskers of all – they are clumsy, they make more mistakes, and they often have to repeat what they do over and over since they don’t get it right the first time around.
In another study, noted by Wired, children perform worse on their homework when simultaneously watching TV. The article continues on to say employees are more productive when they don’t check their email as frequently as they normally would.
For an average entrepreneur, the risk of multi-tasking leads to inefficiency, spending time on meaningless tasks, and resulting stress.
There’s a better way for you: It’s called single-tasking.
When you do something, put your focus completely on it until it’s completed. Then, move on to the next task at hand.
What do you prefer, multi-tasking or single-tasking? Tell us in the comments below!