Have you seen the 100’s of books, courses and apps on time management and methods to improve your efficiency?
Many focus on areas, such as delegation or procrastination, so you may have thought they don’t apply to you.
I am sure many of us still think that all we need to do to be more efficient is to have several tasks on the go at the same time.
Some people claim to be expert multitaskers; others think there is only one gender that has that ability. Whichever group we are in I am sure we all end up juggling tasks trying to get everything done, but is it actually helping us get our jobs done any quicker or more efficiently?
A recent article I read in the accountants magazine had some interesting points and got me thinking about how I work.
Researchers found that your brain simply can’t do two similar things at once e.g. we can walk and eat or walk and talk but if we’re trying to do things that use the same part of the brain it can’t cope and switches off.
We have all thought we could write an e-mail while talking to a customer/client on the phone, or read a text during a meeting but in reality, while you were doing this, how much did you miss of what another person was saying?
The research at the University of Michigan showed that people who think they are good at multitasking were actually slower than those who stick to one task at a time. A prime example is when participants were given a report to write; those with their e-mail open took 50% longer and made twice as many errors.
“Juggling is an illusion…. In reality, the balls are being independently caught and thrown in rapid succession… It is actually task switching.” ― Gary Keller, The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
So next time you want to start another task think again and concentrate on getting the first task finished.
To ensure we meet our promise of a 31 day turnaround for all your annual accounts we are always on the lookout for ways to improve the way we do things. In line with this, along with other improved processes we are trialling set times for us and our staff to check e-mails rather than having them going all the time. So although we may not be able to reply to e-mails immediately we will be more efficient and accurate when we do.
It is early days yet and the temptation is still there to drop what we are doing to get the little jobs done immediately but we will keep at it, so if you notice us looking a bit more relaxed next time you come in, the new methods are obviously working.