Male or female, humans don’t multi-task well.
Are you a chief hustler working three jobs, being one person for your boss and one for the company you’re trying to build. You ditch your work garb to go out with your friends, you switch between personalities for social media… all the while having conversations whilst on your phone, watching tv with your laptop out, writing emails whilst being on hold to a service provider, checking Facebook whilst writing emails… gosh! What a lot you are accomplishing! Except you aren’t. You’re just totally wearing yourself out.
Did you know that your brain takes a 10th of a second to switch from one task to another and that’s not just from spreadsheets to the phone. That’s between EVERYTHING every flick of an eye from a person to a screen, reading a text to looking for your bus. It may seem like nothing but you add it together with all the thousands of task you switch up a day and what do you get? An average of 40% of a day lost to task flicking.
And that 40% lost isn’t 40% more hustle it’s potentially 40% high grade accomplishment time and focus un-jeopardised by constant shifts in thoughts, activities causing general lowered attention.
Now forget about the days and think about what this means for your life as a whole. How many times do you switch yourself and your allowances? For work, for after work, for weekends, for friends, for new business, for the ‘so what do you do’ chat, for parenthood, for those you feel the need to impress….
Wouldn’t it be a lot less tiring if you could merge a few of these? I advocate an integrated life. Especially if you are planning a freelance or start-up jump!
So many people compartmentalise their life. Worklife, lifelife, being with friends, being with family, being a Mum/Dad, a husband/wife, entrepreneur and more.
It’s all life. And it’s all your life. You chop it up too much and you’re going to waste an awful lot of time on the switches. You don’t need to switch one part of you off to be another. You can be all of them, all the time if you start to smudge in their edges.
If you work towards more integration in your life you’ll find there’s a number of benefits:
Skills from other areas of your life start helping you in areas you didn’t expect. You might find the confidence you have as an amazing mother starts spilling into your workplace. Your amazing organisational skills at work might start helping your not so organised weekends. Embrace all of your strengths and bring them all to the table you may be surprised which come in useful when.
More Free Feeling & Less Sunday/Monday Blues
Instead of entering a work coma during the week and simply living for the weekends your weeks can open up as you utilize your lunchtimes and pre work hours as well as after hours. Don’t loose a whole day at work wishing time away for the evening when you can get changed and ‘be yourself with your friends’. Don’t avoid an enjoyable lunch because it’s a weekday and you have to rush back to your desk.
When you accept that your life is one big life you will become more relaxed about where you spend your time. That late email from work won’t work you into a foul mood thinking ‘why is work encroaching on my free time?!’, you’ll simply answer it and get on with things. No resentment.. No stress… instead, brownie points at work.
Get to realise it is all one thing. Work affects life, life effects work, friends and experiences affect self, and so we go on. The more you combine and integrate your life the more Mondays won’t feel so much like the start of a mammoth week hike. The more simplified your life will feel. You’ll be concentrating on one life instead of trying to grumble through 5!
So how do you get going? Here’s some ideas to start :
- Create cross overs in your work and ‘outside work life’ wardrobe.
- Don’t say no to going out on a weeknight (just don’t go crazy).
- Introduce something you love about life regularly into your work.
- Remember you have the mornings before you need to be at work as well as evenings (begin to love your alarm clock).
- Appreciate work friends and give them the attention they deserve (you do spend more of your time with them than anyone else)
- Don’t stress about bringing a little bit of work home with you, just treat it as part of life and it won’t surprise or stress you out when an email pings up that you can swiftly answer.
- Make a lunch date with a friend mid-week.
- Focus on your life as a whole not as parts and find where there is overlap to be utilised! Remember, the more you build walls the more you slow yourself down and over complicate.
And finally – Embrace all of YOU, all of your time, all of the opportunities in each minute and realise you have an extra 40 % of life start living.