“I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything…at least not at the same time.” – Dan Millman
I used to be a consummate multitasker. I’d be on the phone, while looking at my email, thinking about a project later that is coming due, and gandering at Facebook or a menu at a restaurant I was contemplating for lunch. Obviously, this is a horrific way to conduct business.
The book that got me thinking this way was Getting Things Done, by David Allen. In his book, he talks about categorizing tasks into contexts. These contexts could be phone calls, computer work, reading, writing, etc. By putting your to-dos in a context-driven format, you will be more focused on getting “like” things done. For example, if I have to call 40 people today, I focus on making those calls in one big chunk on my calendar. Time chunking is a great way to remain focused on one single group of to-dos.
As you move from one call to the next, you become more efficient as you go, because this is a collection of tasks that all require the same actions. Look at the number, type the number into your phone, dial the number, run through your agenda with the person your talking with, terminate the call, and document the call in your CRM software.
You can do this with anything you have to do. I chunk my time to do the writing for school, writing for my blog, writing for my book. I chunk my time into reading the various books I have on my reading list. I chunk the time for hitting the gym and exercising. I chunk the time for eating, meditation, etc.
I combine this chunking with a disciplined use of the Pomodoro technique to remain focused on the one thing my “time chunk” has me doing. If you can run your day this way, I promise you will see a huge jump in your productivity.
The lesson today: Do one thing at a time or group like things into a time chunk on your calendar. Use some means of timing yourself so you stay focused on that task(s) until your timer goes off and it’s time to take a break.
Until next time…