19 Multi-Tasking is a Drag

I think I need to be good at multi tasking. The opposite of multi tasking never happens at work. Today I put myself in a room and tried to make it happen, and for a few hours it did. I got to work by myself on program changes for some of the staff and it helped a lot. It was weird going from that back in to my office where there are parent meetings happening, interruptions, Handouts posted on flyers around the room and other things. The reality of my job is that I’m supposed to deal with a whole bunch of stuff at once, and so I had better be good at doing that.

When kids tell me they are multi tasking I till them multi tasking is a myth. Which it is. “All you’re doing is switching back and forth between things. Poorly.” would be the usual reply. In my situation now I spend much of the day switching back and forth somewhat effectively, but big projects don’t get done. Sitting alone in a room let’s you get a big thing done, and once it’s done you can save lots of other time, but until it’s done you have to fall behind on a multitude of tasks that must get ignored.

What I think I need to better to multi task is two fold:

  1. Identify tasks that I can switch in and out of, and try to work on those during the times of day when I know that there will be interruptions and other multi-tasking.
  2. Identify the tasks that I can’t switch in and out of, the ones that require total concentration, and don’t work on them during the times of the day when there will be interruptions.
  3. Figure out how to take tasks that fall into the 2nd category and turn them into tasks that fall into the 1st category.
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