If you’re a multitasker, just think about it for a moment… What we define as multitasking is really having a dozen things on the go at various stages of completion. When it comes down to actually DOING something that counts, we can really only do or think about ONE THING. Trying to do more than one thing at a time merely results in jobs taking longer to finish than they should, you being more stressed than you should be and making more mistakes than you’ll admit to.
Here’s a challenge for the New Year. Start one thing (something from your daily to-do list, a project, a book), focus on it entirely, finish it, then start the next thing. Aim to have only ONE action on the go at a time. You’ll find a few things happen: 1) You won’t waste time thinking about all the balls you’re juggling, 2) you won’t waste time trying to remember what stage you’re at with each project and 3) you won’t waste time trying to de-stress between bouts of overload.
As a writer, focusing on one thing at a time is even more important. If, while you’re writing your novel, you’re also writing a non-fiction book, building a website, running a social media campaign, writing short stories, running a family, keeping a job down, living a life… the amount of time you’ll have to really dig deep on your novel will be divided by everything else you have going on. This might work for a while, but if you don’t take the time to think, stew and create, then everything you write will be superficial at best.
Some things need focused attention. If you struggled to get your book finished in 2013, try to drop a few projects off your radar in 2014 and focus more on what you want to complete.
If you’re really addicted to the idea of multitasking, then go put the kettle on while the next chapter is brewing.
Happy writing today!