As you may have read from my previous post and lack of posts, this year has been a busy one.
Although this last month has been nothing compared to the previous ones, I have noticed an interesting trend. Before I was so stressed and focused on finishing just a handful of important tasks that I become sort of “super productive”. I focused on getting the job done and it achieved results.
Now it’s all about everything else that needs to be finished. It’s many many tasks that have about the same priority. Yes, I think I know how to prioritize. The problem is all these tasks seem to have the same importance after some analysis. So the way I’ve been dealing with them is “multitasking”. That is, doing a little bit of each at a time, in hopes that I’ll eventually get them all done, sort of how an OS would do it. Turns out, I feel I’m going nowhere at times, mainly because there’s not much stuff I’m checking off, but there is new stuff piled on top of the old stuff, that I’m also partially starting, and so on, “ad infinitum”. There’s so much time lost in the “context switching”, plus the distractions that might come in between, like obsessively checking emails, that I feel my productivity is diluted.
So my conclusion is: either I get a clone that focuses, or I do the focusing myself. Since the first option is too expensive, probably impossible and highly unethical (or at least in some sort of moral gray area), I need to do the second one. I need to choose a task and go with it, until it’s finished.
Alright, let’s say I’ve mastered the art of focusing, that doesn’t entirely solve my problem. There are still interruptions, people requesting immediate action. Many times you can say: “hold on”. Other times you just can’t, stuff needs immediate action. I’m still trying to learn how to give those interruptions the appropriate attention without loosing track of whatever I was doing. What do you do? Do you effectively multitask?
Update: my buddy Erich Styger also wrote a really nice post on multitasking in real life. Instead of only complaining he lists some things he does to keep productive, check his post out, after that, check his blog MCU on Eclipse out.