The Power of Unitasking

A few weeks ago, I attended the monthly meeting of the New York chapter of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers). Our speaker that night was Christine Li, Ph.D., who bills herself as the Procrastination Coach. Her talk was very wittily entitled, “I’ll Procrastinate Later: Getting from Self-Talk to Self-Start”. She shared information that we can use with our clients, and I enjoyed her presentation. I’m guessing that we are not her typical audience, however. She was definitely preaching to the choir.

Nevertheless, her discussion about time management got me thinking about a way in which I can be more effective.

I’ve gotten used to things happening quickly on my computer. If something takes more than 10 seconds to open, it feels like forever. I will start looking for something to do while I’m waiting. For example, I may go back to my e-mail program to see if I can read and eliminate another e-mail. By the time I am done, I may have forgotten about the other task I had started to do. Or I’ll get back to the program I was opening –my browser, or one of my desktop apps — and I can’t remember why I opened it!

During Dr. Li’s presentation, I made the commitment to do one thing at a time. If I’m opening a program and it takes a little while, I stay with it. I take deep breaths until it’s ready for me to do what I opened it to do. Focusing on one thing at a time allow me to use my time more effectively. And deep breathing is good for you!

What one small change can you make to be more effective?

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