Multi-tasking or MULTI-MANAGEMENT

I recently heard an article on the radio about some recent research that confirms that men are just as good at multi-tasking as women it’s just that they choose to avoid doing so through claiming they ‘can’t’. Women have taken the label of being ‘better multi-taskers’ as being complimentary, as a positive role they can fulfil, not taking into account that, of course, many men ‘look down’ on multi-tasking precisely because they ‘can’t’ do it !

Research shows that men and women have both evolved to focus on one thing at a time and that the more we multi-task, the more stressed/anxious we become and the less effective we are across the board, even at multi-tasking! You Tube has some great videos that demonstrate this research – too many to list here but ‘The Myth of Multi-tasking’ brings them up.

Following on from this I have read that more and more women are going to their GPs feeling very low and ‘not coping’ and are being diagnosed as being depressed. An enlightened specialist has found that in fact the majority of these women are actually suffering from anxiety and fear of being unable to cope, which can then lead to depression.

Their anxiety appears to be rooted in the fact that they actually have too much to do, too many people dependent on them and not enough resources, financial and/or social/structural, to manage effectively. The biggest issue is that they interpret their symptoms as meaning there is something wrong with them – after all they are meant to be good at multi-tasking!

The fact is, generally speaking, women are, without a shadow of a doubt required, for whatever reason, to get good at functioning in lots of different roles at lots of different levels. You can call this multi-tasking but I prefer multi-managing.

The keys to being a successful multi-manager are:

  • Take control. Be more self-aware. Learn to be still.
  • Train yourself to focus on one thing at a time. Turn of Blackberries and phones.
  • Be organised: think in an orderly fashion. Prioritise. Use diaries, lists and reminder notes.
  • Dare to say ‘no’ according to what really matters. Ask ‘do I need to do this?
  • Value who you are, your skills and your choices.
  • Increase your knowledge base.

If you are feeling too weak or stuck to do these it does not necessarily mean you are suffering from depression – you just need some support and motivation! Life Coaching is really effective (though I say it myself!). For more info. click on ‘Coaching Defined’.

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