I don’t think I have ADD. I mean, not in the traditional sense, but maybe another form of the diagnosis. Let me explain what I mean…
I think women are naturally born with the ability to go from one task to another without batting an eyelash. We multitask with great efficiency and are comfortable with a million balls in the air, 4 thousand things going on at once, and rushing from place to place without a moment to spare. I’ve come to the conclusion that not only do I live like this but thrive under these conditions; I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This all bodes well for most of us in life’s day to day functioning (or maybe it doesn’t for you, sorry). We get done what needs to be done and no one gets hurt. The occasional burnt french toast or lateness to soccer practice never sent any child into therapy. But when it comes to our business, this constant jumping from one task to another, multitasking approach is NOT efficient. In fact it can be downright detrimental to our success.
I first self-diagnosed my Business ADD or “BADD” as I like to call it, during my first year in business. I would start writing a blog, and then oooh, someone emailed me, I guess I should check that. Next thing you know I’m emailing this client back which only reminds me that I needed to follow-up with a potential client from yesterday on Facebook; cool, more likes on my status, let me check some updates while I’m here…Ya know, I’m kinda getting hungry, might as well grab a snack while I’m playing on Facebook; let me take a quick peek at the twitter feed, it’ll just take a sec…you get the point. By the time I went back to finishing that blog post I completely lost my train of thought and now I have another partially-written, half-ass blog that will never get published. And the cycle continues.
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of 5 different tasks at once? Can you multitask your business like you multitask your life?
My answer? No. We simply cannot run our business like we run our family, our home and daily errands. Multitasking has its merits, believe me I’m a proponent, but when it comes to business, well, for lack of a better word, its a distraction.
Want to keep your BADD in check? Here are my tips:
1) Acknowledge and embrace your diagnosis. Recognize when you are most susceptible to a “flare-up” of your BADD. Mornings, afternoons, evenings? Try and avoid tackling important business tasks during that time when you are most vulnerable and weak. This is a good time to take a break, go for a walk, exercise, eat, or even take a nap. Pressuring our brain to function when it wants to wander is fruitless. Identify this time and replace it with something else.
2) Pick 2 or 3 tasks each day that you want to accomplish and schedule them. For example, 9-9:30 email maintenance, checking and responding; 10-11 write blog post; 11-11:30 social media updating, perusing, lurking, interacting, etc. Now I know we do social media more than 30 minutes a day, c’mon, its an ALL day activity for many of us addicts. So schedule it many times a day. But when its Twitter time, its Twitter time; allocate that time specifically to do Twitter and stick to it.
3) Indulge your BADD once in a while. Choose a time that you allow yourself to jump back and forth, have 11 different tabs open on your Macbook, and not finish any one task completely. I do this at night. Kids are asleep, I’m half watching some semi-entertaining, only needs part of my attention sit-com while I check email, facebook, tweet, lurk and daydream all at the SAME TIME…and boy it feels soooo good.
See yourself in this post? I would love to hear how you combat your Business ADD. Please feel free to share your tips and success stories, I’ll be posting a follow-up blog soon. Thanks, I look forward to hearing from other sufferers out there…