Myth of Multitasking
I’ve always felt that I was an excellent multitasker. If you asked me to participate in a time management course, I would decline. I operated just fine.
One day I was curious and stumbled upon several short videos online. After three minutes of viewing, I realized that I wasn’t the multitasking master that I thought I was.
The Myth of Multitasking: My Introduction to Dave Crenshaw
For those following along since the beginning, this is the third time you have seen the name Dave Crenshaw. This is the man who took my game to the next level.
Like I mentioned, I’m pretty good with time management. I’ve always been able to keep a budget (time and money) and very structured. I always used a paper calendar (print out I created in Excel). When I worked in Pittsburgh, a corporate manager named Michael Hill gave all of the new hires a crash course on using your email calendar. He would block out EVERYTHING. Everything was color-coded and there wasn’t a single gap.
I started this practice and ditched the paper calendar. This practice was really good for helping me see what I’ve done during the week, but I wasn’t proficient enough to plan out my future (besides the occasional planned meetings).
Meet Dave Crenshaw – Time Management Guru
I’ve preached about Lynda.com (Now LinkedIn Learning) through various blogs and articles. This online learning website has possibly had the biggest impact on my business career. Yes, I learned SEO, HTML, and Digital Marketing on Lynda – but those courses weren’t the game-changer. The course labeled “Time Management Fundamentals” was the building block for my success.
The course is simple. Dave Crenshaw, author and speaker, goes through a series of videos and explains his principal of time management. He gives you a process that helps you at work, at home, and everywhere else. Instead of letting your day or week lead you, you budget out your time. This allows you to take on more projects or work and minimize the stress.
That sounds like a win-win.
Multitasking or Switch-Tasking
One of the revelations Dave talks about in his course (and his book) is Multitasking. In short, we aren’t really good at multitasking. None of us.
In fact, what we are doing is actually not multitasking at all. We are switch-tasking. You move from small task to another small task and actually cutting your brainpower in half. Every time you stop, you actually waste more time.
This time would be spent better if you focused and set all of your energy to complete one task. Then you should move on.
The impact of this changed how I work – every day. Instead of opening an email, loading up some websites, making a few changes, uploading images, creating a new graphic, running a website audit…near-simultaneously, I would stop and do one thing at a time.
When I actually put this principle into practice, I saved hours per week.
I cut off my “multitasking” and was loving my improvement. I had more time to work and more time to play. Crenshaw also brought up another item that I thought I was good at – organizing (or processing).
I’ve always been organized, borderline OCD. I’ve done my best to make sure every thing in my house is placed in a specific location. Even my digital files online have specific naming conventions and file folders. Much like Dave mentions in his course, I would spend hours purging digital files or physical items, locating and organizing.
This is called processing. Taking items and putting them in the correct “home”. This was nothing new, but instead of doing it whenever, he suggests putting this on a calendar. Having a set weekly time to process all items saves time and also prevents your piles from becoming too overwhelming.
Processing sounds easy enough, but where do you find all of your items to process? Dave explains our gathering points. These are locations where we “store” information or documents. We all probably have a junk drawer or a Downloads folder on your computer. Instead of randomly storing your unprocessed items, he has a system that makes it easy to store your files until you are ready to process.
Discovering The Podcast
I put Dave’s system into practice and earned back loads of time. I touched on a few of the major points, but he discusses working from home, emails, taking phone calls, background tasking, and much more. Sometimes I fall in and out of some of the practices, so I rewatch his courses on a regular basis. It’s a great refresher and a way to get back to saving some time.
I knew I was going to discuss Dave and his courses during my December “Time Management” Focus of the Month. I figured I would skip the podcast recommendation, but then I did a simple search.
To my surprise, Dave has a podcast.
Looks like I have to tap into his back catalog.
The Premise of “Get Your Result with Dave Crenshaw: Productivity and Leadership”
I’m not sure where I have been. I search for new podcasts on a weekly basis and it turns out Dave Crenshaw has over 150 episodes. If you visit Apple Podcasts, you can get his latest 50. I can’t say that I’ve had the time (since discovering) to listen to all of his episodes, but it appears he talks about a variety of topics.
Author and speaker Dave Crenshaw shares powerful insights to help you get the result you want in your career, life, or organization. Dave Crenshaw is the master of building productive leaders. He has appeared in Time magazine, USA Today, FastCompany, and the BBC News. His courses on LinkedIn Learning, including Time Management Fundamentals, have over 10 million views and counting. His books on productivity and leadership have been published in six languages. As an author, speaker, and coach, Dave has transformed hundreds of thousands of business leaders worldwide. DaveCrenshaw.comApple Podcasts About
If you are worried about time, more reason to listen. But most of his episodes are short in length. They range from one minute to five minutes. That’s some quick listening, especially at 2x speed.
Why Did I Pick a Podcast about “Time Management”?
Even the Focus Masters can use some help with time management. I’m a believer that you can always learn something new, even if it’s a small tip or trick. Even if you don’t plan on using the tactic, you know of another way it can me done.
For most of us, December is the month you start making your New Years Resolutions. Regardless of the item on your list, I bet you would love to have more time to do that item. It’s proven that taking some of the principles discussed by Dave Crenshaw in his book or course will help you gain back several hours per week.
You can hammer out either method in several hours. This gives you more than enough time to institute change and start off the new year with more time.
The Podcast: “Why the Holiday Multitasking Habit Is Not Productive or Healthy”
If you stumble upon this blog the day it is posted, this will be super timely. If not, you can get the very basics of Dave’s time management principles in this 3-minute episode. Worth a listen and likely worth a binge of his back-catalog.