Even though it may feel productive, multi-tasking is widely accepted as inefficient. It see’s you flitting from task-to-task, rarely finishing what you originally set out to do. Whilst this may stand true – there actually are times where it can be used to your advantage. It can see you combining the often monotonous physical tasks, with ones that stimulate your brain cells. At least, this is a theory I stumbled across a couple of weeks ago. To put these words into effect, I have incorporated multi-tasking into my normal routine to see if I do save time.
1. The Commute
Londoners dedicate one whole year of their life to commuting. That’s 525,600 minutes of wasted time. Or 525,600 minutes which could be made use of, and everyone is counting. Each day I spend 60 minutes commuting on the underground which has the possibility of being a very productive 60 minutes. Whether I’m reading a novel or catching up on the news – I’ve been making use of this time. The Pocket app became somewhat of a personal favourite, the one app which I found myself coaxed in by each time – the instant ability to save articles for offline reading becomes essential when the holy grail that is WiFi alludes me.
2. Autopilot Thinking
My father once told me that a company proposed to pay him by the hour to which he responded “What if I think of an idea in the shower, or whilst I’m brushing my teeth, should I charge you for this time or not, am I working?” My point is, these tasks are robotic, done without thought – muscle memory. As an entrepreneur I need to make use of this time, thinking about challenges I’m facing and not simply glazing over them. It’s remarkable how many utterly brilliant (and useless, of course) ideas you get at these unsuspecting times.
3. Mixing TV With Social Media
According to a TeleScope report, the average Briton watches 4 hours and 2 minutes of television every day. With a busy schedule, I rarely reach 2 hours. Having said that, most of those 2 hours are now spent sending emails, scheduling posts or simply organising my week, with a show in a minimised tab serving the purpose of background noise. When you find yourself binging on the latest Netflix phenomenon for 6 hours with popcorn kernels scattered around you, it’s time to try adding in some productivity whilst you watch – catch up on everyday tasks like posting that long awaited Instagram snap or writing tomorrow’s to-do list. It’s the foolproof way of getting stuff done and getting a fix of your secret indulgence.
4. Get Fit, Get Smart
Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of saying we’ll go to the gym ‘later’ as we try to squeeze in 3 extra meetings into an already crammed schedule. A recent Harvard study stated that 2 hours of brisk walking per week will significantly improve your brain’s memory and thought process. With the abundance of streaming and catch-up services at my finger tips, it’s impossible for me to fall short of finding podcasts, shows and TED Talks that I can indulge myself in whilst I trick my body into going for another 5 miles. It’s a simple and incredibly effective trick, especially when I feel the stitch approaching but know that 6 minutes in the gym isn’t quite enough.
Incorporating these 4 basic adaptions can lead us to amazing results with very little forward planning. Catching up on the news, pondering, socialising and working up a sweat suddenly add an extra 4 hours into the day. With little effort, our productivity can be significantly increased, and isn’t that what everybody seems to want? Next time you’re staring at the tube line map for the 600th time, pull up the news and find out what’s going on in the world.
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