By Jody Long It’s the last hole of the company golf tournament; your co-workers are all watching you. You’re trying not to concentrate on them, and trying to focus on the pin. It’s a simple game, right?... just put the ball in the hole. You start to swing. Are my knees bent too much? Am I over swinging? Are my shoulders lined up? Is everyone still watching? You take the swing, and land your ball right in the sand trap. Studies on the topic of multi-tasking have revealed that the more we try to do or think about, the worse we become at each of the tasks. As humans, we have certain limitations. Research also concluded that we actually lose time when trying to switch back and forth between tasks. This lost time is increased when we switch from simple to more complex tasks. Juggling everything at one time makes us less efficient. Technology can be partially to blame on our inefficiencies. It’s very easy to get caught up with checking your friends facebook pictures, watching TV or texting a friend when you know you have important tasks on your list. According to Brian Tracy, an expert on helping entrepreneurs and professionals achieve success in their business life, planning your time is the key to everything. “Every minute spent in planning saves ten minutes in execution. Everything you are today and everything you become in the future will be determined by the way you think and the way you use your time. Your attitude toward time is a critical factor in all you do and everything you accomplish.” – Brian Tracy A good recommendation would be to focus on the one thing that really needs the attention, then move on to your other important areas. Here are some other helpful tips to help you manage your time better: · For every 25 minutes of work, give yourself a 5 minute break. Especially if you are doing computer work. · Use a timer, other than the one on your cell phone, to keep track of your 25 minutes. · Use old fashioned pen and paper to write down your ideas and to-do lists, this way you’re not distracted by your phone or computer. · Spend time at the beginning of the week and the beginning of each day to plan out what you hope to accomplish. Stick to your schedule and your lists. · If you find yourself distracted with technology, as most of us are, turn it off or put it in another room. So the next time you find yourself trying to multi-task, don’t. Remember to plan your time, and focus on one project.