Are you a multi-tasker? Most of us are – particularly women. We have to be, right? Otherwise things just wouldn’t get done.
Like many other people, that’s what I used to believe. I used to think that if I did more than one thing at a time it meant that I was more efficient with my time; that I was getting more done. In fact, the opposite is true.

What actually happens when you do more than one thing at a time is that your energy is scattered. The energy that you’re putting into whatever tasks you are doing is scattered, making you less effective and meaning that you don’t do such a good job of anything.

I remember sitting in an internet training class recently. We all had our laptops with us as the instructor was showing us how to do certain things and taking us through it step by step on the screen. Each time there would be people who would complain that “my screen doesn’t look like that” or “it’s not working for me”. These were the people who had been busy checking their e-mail or doing other things on-line while the instructor was talking. The result – they were scattered, they became frustrated, the instructor became frustrated with them for not paying attention, and the rest of the class became frustrated with them for making everything take twice as long as it needed to. Did they learn from this and pay attention next time? No. Checking e-mail was too tempting. Listening to the class must have been too boring.

Think about how often you do this. You’re talking with someone on the phone and you’re checking your e-mail or doing something else on your computer at the same time. Do you know what this actually does for your relationships? You then start to wonder why your relationships are not satisfying any more, it’s because the energy you’re putting into them is scattered. Next time somebody is talking to you, whether it’s on the phone or in person, try giving them your full attention. Stop thinking about other things, like what you’ve got to do next, or what you’re going to prepare for dinner. Give them your full attention. If you do this you’ll start to find that your relationships will improve. You’ll get on better with your family, your spouse, your co-workers. Why? Because you’re being fully present with them. You’re actually listening and connecting with them instead of only partially interacting with them.

Try this also the next time you’re doing a task. You’re doing something and the phone rings, so you pick up the phone and talk and continue with the task that you were doing before the phone rang. Next time, just continue with the task and don’t answer the phone. When you are doing something and you put your full attention on it, give all your energy to it, not only do you do it much better – the quality of it will be much better – you’ll also probably find that you can do it faster and more effectively.

I know it probably sounds counter-intuitive. It does seem like you’d get more done if you did more things and multi-tasking often seems like the only way to go. But I invite you to try it and see how it really can make a difference – here’s what you’ll find:
• You’ll feel calmer, less stressed
• You’ll be more focused
• You’ll be more efficient and productive
• Your relationships will improve
• People will like you more and you’ll like yourself much better too
• The quality of what you do will improve dramatically
• You’ll be much less scattered, more energized

There’s no great mystery to this. It’s simply being present with whatever it is that you’re doing and not allowing yourself to get distracted. If you’re a chronic multi-tasker it might be difficult to change, but I encourage you to try – you’ll be glad you did.

Author's Bio: 

Linda Binns shows you how to be more successful in all areas of your life by working with your environment. Sign up for her free 9-step E-course at Harmonious Life Choices.

Linda Binns is author of Feng Shui for Your Relationships: Changing Your Environment to Create Better Relationships. She has been a Feng Shui Practitioner, Author, Speaker and teacher for over 10 years. She has appeared internationally on television and radio and in local publications. Linda is also the founder of The Feng Shui Success Institute – which teaches in-depth Feng Shui training and practitioner certification.