When I was in college, there was much talk about multi-tasking. I started small. I did my homework while the washer and dryer took care of the laundry.
Throughout the years, the tasks got more complicated, but I prided myself in being able to do quite a few at one time.
Success depended on three elements: planning, timing, and execution.
I became proficient at all three–until many years later, when I began writing. And, even then, I could accomplish quite a lot this way.
However, this past month, years of hard work in the area of multitasking were put to the test.
I have spent the last thirty days working on the editing and revising two books, as well as working with a producer on an audio version of another one.
I have been burning the proverbial candle at both ends—a situation that does not make for a happy camper.
I’ve found that multi-tasking, while it often saves time, is best done when the tasks are completely unrelated (such as homework and laundry). By using different parts of our brain, the emotional drainage—as I refer to it—is easier to handle.
When tasks are related—such as completing one’s Income Taxes, writing a novel, and preparing for a large group presentation—things become overwhelming. It’s best to space projects out, so one can complete them with some degree of competency, rather than trying to muddle through the frustration.
The fast-approaching deadline of April 15 dictated that I complete that task, first. I have now prioritized the other writing tasks so that I am addressing them consecutively.
Things are improving for me, emotionally. I even have time for a little blogging left over at the end of the day.
Even though my books will be published roughly a month later than my marketing plan had predicted, I will be able to do a better job by focusing on one task at a time.
So, my advice?
Take it easy. Take your time. Follow the turtle who said, “Slow and steady wins the race.”