By Maria Valdez Haubrich
Like that headline? Or I guess I could have said “Is Multitasking Hurting Your Business?” In last month’s USA Today Your Life section an article ran titled: Shifting focus a lot at work could wreck your diet. It discussed studies that were done showing that people who switch back and forth between tasks, therefore switching their mindset frequently, have less self-control when it comes to things such as controlling your temper, resisting cheating on your diet or even persisting in completing a difficult task.
As I’m writing this blog I can tell you I’ve stopped to check my email, attempted to log in to our email marketing program, and checked our business’s Facebook page. As a busy entrepreneur, I’m sure you’ve all experienced the feeling of ADHD and the inability to focus on one thing at a time. Do you feel like it’s hurt you ability to get things accomplished in a timely manner?
The article also addresses the problems that employees face when faced with smaller staff limitations. Whether you had to let some people go because of the economy or you’re just starting out and can’t afford to hire more employees yet, employees (or business owners) who wear too many hats may let some things fall through the cracks because of overstimulation and overwork.
Kathleen Vohs, one of the professors and authors of the study, says it shows how “people who approach tasks with a persistent way of operating … may actually be really smart, because they are conserving their mental energy to do the tough stuff.” I can see the logic in this statement and while I think being able to concentrate on one task at a time sound like a wonderful way to go through life, I don’t think it’s entirely realistic. Being flexible enough to handle multiple tasks and put out fires as they come along is what enables an entrepreneur to keep going through the rough times.
Do you agree? Please let us know how you handle the multiple tasks thrown at you every day. I need to run to answer some emails, write some articles and organize our bank statements….