Friday, May 28, 2010
Multi tasking: the art of mediocrity
As a mom and a business owner, I have been forced to organize my life; I need to get the most out of my time, as it is in short supply. For me this means often going back to evaluate (and reevaluate when necessary) my priorities to make sure that my life is properly aligned. The goal of this, of course, is to minimize time spent on work (business or household) and maximize the amount of time I spend with family and doing other recreational things I enjoy.
This brings me to the topic of multitasking. Our society is full of it; talk on the phone while sending an email, check Facebook on your iPhone while sitting at a stoplight, etc., etc. etc. With a constant to-do list a mile long, sometimes it makes sense to multitask. For example, I might plan my household cleaning so that I start the washer and dishwasher first, clean the rest of the house, and by the time I’m done I can switch the clothes to the dryer and unload the dishwasher. This is a great example of planning for maximum efficiency. Simple enough, right?
What I avoid doing is checking my email over dinner, writing a to-do list while I am supposed to be having “Kate time,” or texting while having a face-to-face conversation with my husband. While I may have emails to check or blog posts to write, being true to my values means that I am not doing those things while I am sitting at the dinner table. Why? Because there are some things that deserve my undivided attention. I hold “being present in the moment” high on my priority list and my family, friends and clients deserve to have all of me.
Our fast paced, success driven society puts great value on tasks accomplished. I admit it, I love writing out lists and scratching them off when they are complete. But in the end, I will not reflect back on my life and say, “I had a wonderful life because I got so much done!” I am more likely to reflect back on the special moments I spend with my children, the intimate moments I share with my husband and fun times spent with friends. For me, the importance lies in seeking a balance between the two: accomplishing daily tasks and making time for the real joys of life.
Who wants to do a mediocre job at everything when you can do a phenomenal job with only the things you really care about?
Look for more soon on the topic of outsourcing.