Effective Multitasking Strategies

“Memory Matters” for ALL Ages  LINK TO PROGRAM

Life in the 21st century continues to provide more and more situations where you are presented with multitasking demands and information overload. Knowing ways to be more effective can increase your accuracy, decrease stress levels and help you balance your days.

People have a lot of interest in the topic and it includes comments on how busy their lives are and later complaining about their memory lapses but not always connecting the cause and effect aspect.  Add some unexpected circumstance that requires hours of time when you have little to spare or handling your hectic routine when you are not feeling up to par. Computers can multitask 24/7 but we cannot and more often than not you are tasking switching, not multitasking and that is a real challenge to your brain effectiveness.

Things to think about:

1.  Start with awareness: What is your relationship with multitasking?
2.  Are you beginning the day running?
3.  Can you slow down?
4.  Do you like the rush of the energy?
5.  Do you have trouble delegating?
6.  Do slow people annoy you?
7.  Do you have trouble setting boundaries?

Previous blog topics can help you better understand the bigger picture so you can create more effective strategies. Multitasking: Basics  Multitasking Tips  Multitasking Research  Multitasking Etiquette

Tips to consider:

1. Know where you are most vulnerable. Do you create the distractions? If you understand why then you can create more effective strategies. Is the task you are doing boring or something you have been procrastination about for quite some time. Is there something you can do to stay on task? Sometimes yard work, especially picking up sticks after a storm, is a task I would prefer to put off. If I put on upbeat music or listen to a book on CD when sorting boxes in the basement in preparation for a move, I am less likely to switch tasks often. Is there something you can do that will help you focus without causing a distraction?

2. Before you start a task, stop for a moment and think about your plan. Perhaps you need to turn off the alerts on your phone, close the door to your office or decide you will give the task a certain amount of uninterrupted time. Then be present. If you are tempted to get sidetracked, acknowledge it, and then go back to the task. Remember those interruptions mean the task will take longer and you are likely to make more mistakes.

3. The best thing you can do if you are interrupted or decide to go off your task is to make a note of where you were, what you were doing and anything else that will help you get back to the train of thought you had before your shift in attention.

TO DO THIS WEEK:
1. Think of a better way to handle your distractions.
2. Notice what happens when you resume your task. Even a few seconds getting back to what you are doing can impact recall.
3. Reclaim your balance. What matters to you? Are those distractions causing you more stress?

“In all aspects of our lives balance is key. Doing one thing too much can cause upset, like the old saying goes, everything in moderation is the secret!” Catherine Pulsifer

Information on Kathryn’s products and links to sample pages   

About Kathryn Kilpatrick

Kathryn Kilpatrick received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1968 from the University of Massachusetts. She has worked in a variety of settings, primarily in Ohio, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and for decades in the area of home health care. Kathryn is president of Memory Fitness Matters (www.memoryfitnessmatters.com) and Communication Connection(www.connectionsincommunication.com). She offers memory coaching for all ages and has a geriatric consulting practice. She is a national motivational speaker and author of more than 30 products to enhance communication and connection as well as a Memory Fitness Toolkit. Kathryn brings her decades of experience as a speech-language pathologist to all those wanting to enhance their quality of life, particularly when there are communication, memory and cognitive challenges. Her websites offer information on a wide variety of topics related to elder care concerns as well as memory fitness and successful aging.
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