When it comes to managing time, planning our day, or any number of success activities, many times we are blocked by the sheer number of things that are involved. How can I reach a goal that requires so many things, many of which I do not have yet? How can I schedule my day when I have so many tasks that need to be done right now? I can't spare the time to plan my day, set a goal, or work on anything other than the immediate needs.

Does this sound familiar?

The Problem

The issue here is two-fold. On the one hand, if we do not change our actions, we cannot expect different results. On the other hand, multitasking is not an effective solution. Let me explain.

Our life, our situation, is the result of our previous actions. If we have too many things on our plate, if life is too complicated, it is because we acted in such a way as to make that happen. Maybe we took on that one task too many. Maybe we said "Yes" when we should have said "No". How this happened does not matter. The key is that we need to change, and we need to change now. As Albert Einstein said, you cannot solve the problem with the same thinking that created the problem. So if we have too many tasks to do, we need to change our approach to get the number of tasks under control.

Multitasking is not an effective solution because the act of multitasking wastes energy. It takes time, thought, and energy to switch from one task to another. It has been shown that as we are switching between tasks, we are actually losing effective intelligence and energy, both of which take time to regain. I heard one speaker say that a good multitasker is someone who does many things poorly. That is not good enough.

The Solution

The solution is to focus. The process we should be following is to select one task and work it until it is done. Then move on to the next task. How we select tasks is the real question of time management and planning, but once the task has been selected, we then basically ignore the other tasks and do the selected task.

By focusing on a single task, we can bring all our resources to bear upon that task. By doing this, the task we are concentrating upon gets done more efficiently and, probably, more effectively. Not only does the task get done, but we also get a reward of a sense of accomplishment, which makes our efforts more productive.

This focus allows tasks to be done quicker and better. Once a task is completed, we can then with a clear mind and heart move on to the next task, knowing we have not left something half done. By using the power of focus, we can begin to get our life under control.

Author's Bio: 

John Steely has been teaching mathematics, study skills, and habits of success for over 25 years. You can access a number of free resources he has found and made at Steely Services