Multitasking is a Myth

Multitasking

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If you think you can multitask, think again. Studies are quickly proving that our beliefs about multitasking are all wrong.

What we call multitasking is usually a case of

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well managed serial tasking; that is, switching from one task to another in rapid succession.

You may go back and forth between the same tasks several times over the duration, but you are always focusing on one task at a time, not multiple.

Serial tasking is what most of us do when we think we’re multitasking. We do it because we think we’re being effective, but the problem is, we’re not.

The American Psychological Association has found that because of the way our brains have to shift to recover in serial tasking situations, it can take up to 40% longer than when we single task, particularly for complicated tasks.

It is actually less efficient to try to do multiple things at once. What’s more, they are finding that people who multitask

can remember less than their single tasking counterparts.

Let’s think about it another way. If we could multitask, magic would not work. That’s because a magician relies on sleight of hand and distraction to keep you focused on

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something other than the trick he is performing.

If you could truly multitask, you could focus on both the distraction and the trick, and not miss a beat. Instead you are amazed when the magician does something you didn’t see coming; amazed, because your single-tasking brain can’t connect the dots. (But don’t feel bad, none of ours can.)

If we really can’t multitask, then why do we believe that we can? Because we’re great at fooling ourselves, that’s why.

So today I challenge you to change your belief, and shatter the multitasking myth. Instead, try to be present and in the moment with everything you do. You’ll find that not only are you more productive, but less stressed. And stress is definitely something we could all use a little less of.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who is interested in helping you rethink your assumptions. Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

How to Make a Difficult Decision Easier

Decisions

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Right now there is something that your business desperately needs that is out of your price range. Maybe it’s new computers, or a server, or a new database. Maybe it is the need to hire more employees, or the need to implement a company-wide change.

Regardless, you are probably hemming and hawing right now, dragging your feet and trying to decide if you should finally take the plunge. But while you’re agonizing over this decision, it could be your business that is paying the price of your indecisiveness.

So, how do you quit worrying? How do you make a decision once and for all, and put all of this behind you?

Resolve to stop worrying now and finally make a decision one way or the other, and then get on with it. Of course, if it were that easy you would have made the decision by now.

But maybe you’ve been thinking about the problem the wrong way. Here are a few questions, designed to help you think about your decision differently.

Will it solve a major problem?

If this purchase will solve a major problem, then you should consider spending the money. When you solve a major problem, you lift a burden from your business. You free yourself, and your staff, up to produce much bigger and better things which allows your business to evolve.

Will it increase overall efficiency?

Will this purchase help you, or your staff, be more efficient with day to day tasks? Think about all the tasks that must be accomplished to keep your business going, and then think about how your purchase could free up time. Even the smallest amount of time saved can add up quickly, depending on the frequency, and that time saved could lead you to work on more exciting projects.

Will it help you, or your staff, provide better service?

If something frustrates you, that frustration shows. It shows on you and everything you do which in turn trickles down to your employees and affects them, and the work your company produces. But most importantly, your clients can see your frustration, which is never a good thing.

Likewise, when you turn a frustrating situation into a positive one, it will also show in everything that you do. Don’t you want your clients to see the best of your business?

Will it be cheaper in the long run?

Sure, it’s tough to spend money, particularly in this economy, but think of all the ways that your purchase can help make your operating costs cheaper. For example, if your staff is more efficient, they can produce more, generating more revenue. Or maybe your purchase will help you create better reports easier, in turn helping your sales presentation. This is the time to get creative. In what ways will your purchase help you save money (and maybe even generate new revenue) in the long run?

If, after thinking about these questions you are still undecided, try to think of all the ways that your purchase will help your business. Dream big and be inspired, because what you’re doing now probably isn’t working.

While there are no guarantees in life, one thing is for certain – things will never get any better if you don’t decide to take that leap and make a change.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who is interested in helping you achieve peace and calm.  Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

How to Recall a Message in Microsoft Outlook 2010

Oops

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If you have ever accidentally sent an email before you were ready, you know the feeling of sheer horror that balls up inside you as you nervously await the other party’s response.

Maybe you fumble, and send a second email in an attempt to rectify the first. Or maybe, you just sit around, agonizing and worrying about what you sent.

During these embarrassing moments, you don’t have to stress out any more. You can recall the message before the other party even has a chance to view it, as long as both parties are using Outlook and Exchange for their email.

This won’t work if the other party has a free email address, such as a gmail or yahoo address. But, if the other party uses Exchange for email, and many businesses do, you can use this trick to quickly and easily recall messages, so that you don’t have to spend the next 24 to 48 hours biting your nails.

This would also work great for interoffice communications, when you know your office is utilizing Exchange for email.

Recalling the Message

To recall the offending email message, go to your sent folder in Outlook, and open the message you want to recall.

In the message ribbon at the top, look for the Move section. This should be in the middle of the bar, next to Quick Steps.

Click on Actions, and then click on Recall Message. If the option is grayed out, you will be unable to recall your message.

From here, you’ll have the option to delete unread copies of your message, or delete unread copies and create a new message to replace it with.

You can even tell it to send you a message, giving you the status of the message recall for all recipients involved.

If you use Outlook 2007, here are the directions for recalling an email message.

Save yourself from embarrassing office emails and short, scraggly nails (from all that biting) by recalling your email message next time you accidentally sent something you shouldn’t.

Have you ever needed to recall a message? Leave us a comment and tell us about it. What did you end up doing in this situation?


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who is interested in helping you achieve peace and calm with your technology. Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.