Surrounded by multitaskers? Here’s what to do – Pick Dave’s Brain

What can you do if you’re surrounded by people who are addicted to multitasking?

This week’s question comes from Brandon in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He asks:

Q: I just finished reading The Myth of Multitasking and really enjoyed it. It seemed like most of the suggestions applied to someone who is a CEO or a boss of many people and has complete control of their schedule. What techniques would you suggest to someone who’s at the beck and call of a manager or those we report to? How can I create boundaries to prevent switchtasking in this sort of environment?

Click to tweet this: Surrounded by multitaskers? Don’t surrender…draft a focus treaty. @DaveCrenshaw

What can you do if you’re surrounded by people who are addicted to multitasking?

This week’s question comes from Brandon in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He asks:

I just finished reading The Myth of Multitasking and really enjoyed it. It seemed like most of the suggestions applied to someone who is a CEO or a boss of many people and has complete control of their schedule. What techniques would you suggest to someone who’s at the beck and call of a manager or those we report to? How can I create boundaries to prevent switchtasking in this sort of environment?

Dave:

Unfortunately, this is a common issue. I see it a lot when people realize that multitasking isn’t effective, but they are still surrounded by people who haven’t yet.

My first suggestion to you is to get them on your side. You can do this by sharing some of the principles from the book. You can even look up my video on the multitasking exercise and share that with them. I’ll put a link on this page to that.

Whatever you can do to show that multitasking causes more mistakes, high stress, and lower productivity will make it easier for them to change their behavior.

The second thing that I would do is to have a candid conversation with them about the meetings that you are having. It sounds like you are getting interrupted constantly throughout the day, either by your boss or by the people that you lead. Instead of having these ad hoc meetings pop-up intermittently, establish a consistent one-to-one meeting schedule. That allows both of you to queue up all those questions and then bring them to the meeting in a calm, controlled environment. This one principle alone, when applied at a manufacturing company that I consulted, increased their productivity overall by twenty percent.

My last suggestion is for you go through Time Management Fundamentals on Linkedin Learning. This is my most popular course on that platform and it will teach you everything that you need to know about creating a structure that reduces switches in your day. And if you’re not already a Linkedin Learning member, sign up for your thirty-day free trial! I’ll put a link to my course on this page as well.

And if you’ve got a question for me, all you need to do is go to Davecrenshaw.com/ask and you can ask me your question there.

I look forward to hearing what I can do to help you.


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