Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where does the time go?

Gradually over the last year I've begun to realize what a terrible multi-tasker I am. I thought it was one of my biggest assets--it got me through school with internships, extracurriculars, work and classes. But now, in real life, it's a terrible habit that usually leaves me wondering where the time went and why i haven't accomplished anything.

To give you an example. On a normal day at work I have 8-10 tabs open on my google chrome at least 5 programs running on my toolbar and at least three notepads, sticky notes and tablets with my to do list somewhere on them.
I generally jump from task to task every 5-10 minutes, completing very few and getting frustrated because the internet at work is so slow (they JUST got it fixed yesterday, so I'm hoping this will help!)

By the end of the day I'm left frustrated with my lack of accomplishment, and feeling like I forgot to do something (which is the case often enough)

The same has been true with blogging/internet time. I keep twitter, facebook, flickr, blogger, google reader and my email open regularly. I bounce between checking some for updates, working on a blog post, or catching up on blog reading. I rarely finish any task, and I forget where I left off so I just move on to another thing.
I was hoping to finish my wedding recaps before my one year anniversary. But that day is next Saturday and I have four 1/2 complete blog drafts sitting in my dashboard.

Last week Brooke at Claremont Road posted about the Pomodoro technique, which is basically a time management system to help productivity and limit distractions.
I looked into and wrote it off because I get interrupted fairly often during the day and the details of what to do for interruptions seemed kind of extensive.
But last week after a particularly bad day, I was feeling really defeated. So I spent my last 15 minutes at work setting up to try the technique for one day to test it out. I only gave myself 6 of my 8 work day to do it, but I accomplished so much. And best of all, I finished the day feeling like I'd gotten to everything that needed to be done. (Check Brooke's blog for a good, simple description of the plan)

It was really difficult for me to discipline myself, and even though I felt accomplished at the end of the day, I didn't really enjoy the day because it felt so different and uncomfortable. So I gave up.
A week later I'm feeling the same scatterbrained stress and I think I'm going to get back on the train, with a modified version of the technique that works for me.

Hopefully this will increase my work and blog productivity, as well as keep my online time wasting down to a minimum (I will only get on social media during my short breaks during the day).

Do you feel like you waste time in an attempt to multi-task? Do you have work 'ADD' like me?
I'd love to know that I'm not the only one!


Katie said...

I agree that sometimes multitasking leads me into "nothing tasking."Instead of getting anything completely done, I seem to get a bunch of things partially done, and then for hours after work I am remembering things (too late) that I was supposed to have done, and forgot to do. I TOTALLY have work ADD, and also I find myself obsessively checking social sites instead of getting anything done. Like, even when I've checked them 5 minutes before and nothing has changed! It's bad, bad, bad. You are NOT the only one. I thought this would stop after our wedding, assuming my brain would clear up and I could think straight again, but no such luck. It's only been 3 weeks, but I know I need to take action to make the change, not just assume it will change on its own. I just don't have the motivation to start. GOOD LUCK TO YOU!

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