Are you a recovering multitasker? Can you do five things at once and most people are just in awe of how you can manage so much at one time? I used to be able to pride myself on being able to do multiple tasks at one time until I started to do a deep dive into why I was such a multitasker. It's been a year since I've been clinically diagnosed with ADHD and in the year I have started medication and I have learned more about my brain and why I do what I do. I have ADHD, so sometimes my brain has difficulty with executive functioning. Executive functioning is being able to see the tasks in front of you and being able to pick one and execute it to completion. Those with ADHD often have a hard time being able to decide which tasks to start with and completing them as we can get sidetracked. We often see so many tasks at hand and can get overwhelmed, not knowing where to start, and ultimately procrastinating which leads to high anxiety and worry. It's not so fun.
One of the ways I dealt with this was by multitasking by doing a few little tasks at the same time it kept me focused and I also got the endorphin rush of being able to complete a task. Do you enjoy being able to highlight or scratch off something on your to-do list? Well if you do then you get the feeling. As I did more research I found that multitasking is bad for your brain. Your brain cannot function on so many planes or in other terms too many windows open and too many tasks. We often feel like we are accomplishing much because we clicked a bunch of things off our to-do list at one time but in reality, it's taking us much longer to thoroughly complete those tasks, or complete them correctly.
So what's the solution for someone that is a multitasker? One of the ways that you can start to move from multitasking to completing tasks is by creating a to-do list. If you already do this great you are one step in the right direction. Not a to-do list person? That's OK here's a really easy way to get started. Some people like to keep their to-do list in the notes section of their phone or an app. Others, like me, like to write them down. I get the satisfaction of being able to cross off or highlight the things that I have completed. Also, I like to be able to see how much I completed in one day. It lets me know if a day has been successful or if there’s a lot more work that I have to do.
Step two is prioritizing what needs to be accomplished first or what is the most important task. If you are a morning person making the harder, more difficult tasks in the morning when you work your best is the best solution. If you work better in the evening then reverse that and put your harder tasks in the evening. I am an early bird — and find my best thinking is around 9 am to 11 am — so I put a lot of the work that is brain focused during that time, and the other things I can leave and start up again if I need to walk away for the afternoon.
Step three is being able to decide what you can do, and what others can do. Do you have a partner at home who can help with some of the tasks you are managing? Are the tasks at work something that can be shared or leveraged by other members of your team? As a solo business owner, a lot of my tasks cannot be handed off — but some things can be done by a virtual assistant or with automation. Example: I pick one day a week to create my digital content — that’s creating the graphics in Canva, scheduling them for social media, and then writing whatever blogs or copy I need for the week. I set that time aside every week, and try to keep it on the same day and time to help with routine. I also create a routine by scheduling similar tasks on similar days and times. It allows my brain to have some “muscle memory” and therefore the tasks are easier.
These are just a few tips to get you started — try them out and see if your productivity soars. Have some tips you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments, or follow us on Instagram at @selfcaresenorita and leave us more tips to share, we will be sure to tag you (if you want)!.
Be selfish with your self-care!