The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time

Posted March 22, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five

After bringing you Laura Vanderkam’s “Are You As Busy As You Think?”, it’s only fitting to continue in the theme of finding better ways to use your time. I believe we have an epidemic in this country of people who don’t use their time effectively and consequently become burned out, afraid of taking time off, setting no boundaries between work and life, and ultimately becoming less and less happy. Taking control of your time means taking control of your life.

In my world, multitasking isn’t a strategy, it’s a lifestyle. When my husband walks in at night, it’s not uncommon for me to have the television on, laptop on my lap, magazine sitting next to me, and watching a TED talk at the same time on my iPad. I multitask like I breathe. But Tony Schwartz is challenging my multitasking life with his article in Harvard Business Review Blog, “The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time.” I was shocked to learn from Tony that multitasking can increase the amount of time it takes to complete a single task by 25 percent. Think about that in terms of wasted time in your day. If you have four tasks that will take approximately one hour a piece, trying to do them simultaneously or while multitasking other tasks, it could take over an hour longer to accomplish them than if you focused on one task at a time.

Check out Tony’s full article here, where he provides great advice to managers to help employees improve time management, and tips for individuals to better focus on one thing at a time.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."