Working online and multitasking often goes hand in hand, but juggling too many tasks at once can easily lead to lack of productivity and stress – Multitasking Mayhem
We can be distracted, disorganized, and ultimately distressed. What can we do to prevent this kind of overload?
This is the first article in a series on multitasking, where I give you some background into my own experiences. Next I’ll talk about solutions to problems arising from trying to do too much at once.
Distress is something I no longer allow in my life because I’ve been there and didn’t like it. However, my tendency to attempt to multitask lives on. I have so many ideas and too many projects on the go. You guessed it, I’m not doing any of them as well as I could. I get too easily distracted by the web, always finding something new to read or watch. Thankfully I’ve found a way to filter email that suits me and stops that particular digital distraction.
Instead of stressing I decided to find out why I’m like this and what I can do about it. Sharing my findings will hopefully prevent you ending up in a multitasking muddle because of digital distractions.
I wondered why I don’t seem to be able to efficiently multitask as much as I did. The answer to that didn’t take much thinking out. I wore myself out and ended up stressed, super anxious and ultimately depressed. It wasn’t efficient at all.
The difference then was that I committed myself to doing too many things for others and had trouble saying no.
My Multitasking Mayhem
I was only working a few hours a week from home, Adding volunteer work and looking after my 3 young children I had more than a full time job. Not a week went by without 3-5 medical and therapy appointments for my youngest son who has Fragile X Syndrome. I attempted to survive on very little sleep.
When my son was diagnosed I made it my aim to find out everything there was to know about Fragile X. Then I had to share my findings with others, by writing a brochure, learning how to set up websites and forums.. I don’t do things by half measures!
Add this to an untreated anxiety, and social anxiety problem, I had (courtesy of the faulty gene that causes my son’s disability), I ended up a mess.
Medication and Cognitive Behavior Therapy got me back on my feet with a more positive outlook on life. Anxiety is thankfully now a thing of the past but I’m aware of danger signals that might cause it. Attentional Deficit Trait (ADT), a result of digital overload, is one of them. I’ll talk more about that next time.
My experience with multitasking may be extreme but it can take its toll on anyone.
I know many of my readers work online, often on top of their day job. Juggling these plus family commitments easily leads to stress. It’s common to take on too much in attempts to succeed online.
Joining too many programs, blogging, video creation, webinars, social media, online community involvement, promotion and advertising are often far too time consuming. There are many possible distractions, too many temptations, so many options.
Skipping sleep and not taking care of diet and exercise are added dangers. I recently took part in a project by Philip Ariel “130+ Online Experts Share their Sleep and Productivity Secrets“. It’s clear from the responses that lack of sleep leads to lack of productivity. (Congratulations to Philip for his post being published by Huffington Post)
So how can we multitask efficiently? Look out for my next post later next week. But expect some disappointment! The good news is that there are ways to manage a workload productively. I’ll go into that too.
In the meantime I’d love to hear about your own experiences with multitasking. Please let me know in the comments below.
This introductory post also serves as my post for Fragile X Syndrome’s July Awareness Month. For more information please check out my site Fragile X Awareness.