Multitasking is a myth. In an era ruled by dinging smart phones, we are conditioned to respond to every notification. While it seems like constant multitasking is the new norm, research has proven that what we know as “multitasking” is just switching between tasks at hyper speed. Our focus is fragmented. Instead of saving time, multitasking zaps our energy and makes us less productive. When we can’t find time to focus, we not only become less efficient, we also lose access to creative flow.
Responsiveness is critical to providing excellent client service, but as communications counselors, our job doesn’t stop at project management. We’re in the business of big picture solutions, ground breaking ideas and quality content. Finding creative flow needs to be a business priority.
Tapping into a flow state to uncover creative solutions is only possible when we give the task at hand our undivided attention. The best way to do this is by organizing your day so you’ve built in time for hyper focus, flow state’s welcome mat. During these times, toggling between a spreadsheet, your inbox and instant messages is forbidden. Here are three ways #TeamStatacomm makes room for creative flow.
- Automate and delegate. Automate what you can and delegate what you can’t. When you discover certain projects are routine to you but foreign to one of your colleagues, you’re presented with a mutually beneficial learning and coaching opportunity. Loop them in to expand their skillsets, while clearing your plate for more time for flow.
- Batch your tasks. Plan to complete your most draining tasks in batches. This allows you to complete tasks that would hijack your focus if they were scattered throughout your week. Batching tasks helps open space for deep thinking and creative work.
- Schedule time to think. Deadlines are deadlines – sometimes the best course of action is to block time during your work day to get big projects done. Come in early or stay late to tap into tunnel vision focus. When deadlines are looming, Stratacomm encourages finding a change of scenery – a coffee shop, library or other space that allows you to intently focus on one task. Stratacomm’s Detroit office utilizes its desk at a downtown coworking space to escape the office’s day-to-day distractions to find hyper focus.
Once you’ve stopped multitasking, be ready with a notebook or notes app to capture your creative impulses. When the muse is on your doorstep she rarely knocks twice. In fact, this blog post was started on an iPhone in the middle of the night.
Nicole Pelto is an account supervisor in the Stratacomm Detroit office.