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I agree with the comments that multitasking in general dose not work as well in mono-tasking, but some time what we call multitask is in fact just combining two activities in to one and getting two distinct benefits from one task (for example to work out in the park with the kids = 1 task but 2 benefits - kids time and a workout). I also think that your main problem may not be way you do your work but that you fail to comply with the needs of your company to get detailed data on the resources they use on etch project (your time) for management needs such as belling and planning. You may like your job but you don’t have to like every thing about it - put these reports in the 'must do to keep the job I in like' part of your mind. Do them for 2 minutes every 58 minuets and it will become bearable.
Can't account for every minute of your time - do some guessing (after 58 minutes it will not be totally off).
Interesting concept when you compare us to computers! Thanks.
To motivate yourself to fill in the time sheets, you should set something up so you also learn something about your own behaviours for future self improvement. Something I have done in the past when I want to understand how work time is spent is I set up and print out a daily form which has boxes organised in 15 minute time blocks. I place the printout on my desk near my computer or phone, and every week day for 1 - 4 weeks I fill out what I've been doing work-wise, including when I come in early or stay late. Four weeks is the best time period if you can stick to recording things, as it gives a more rounded view of all the things being done in a typical month. After 1 - 4 weeks, I review all the recorded information and categorise tasks into common themes. What is quickly apparent is the more diligently you've been recording your tasks, the better the analysis later on. I then create graphs in excel showing the information by categories of tasks, or by combining all the mon, tues, wed, thurs, friday in 5 bars, etc. If you can get a department to do this, it is eye opening to realise how much non-valued tasks are going on. I did an exercise in my department looking at e-mail use, where I had 5 people track all the various e-mail tasks they were doing over one week. After reviewing the graphs, it became glaringly apparent that across the whole department of 25, we were doing non-valued added e-mail tasks equivalent to 1 full time person per year! In addition, the non-value added tasks were creating 20% of the overall unpaid extra time people were working unpaid.
A really good book to consider reading is "Cool Down" by Steve Prentice. There are some great insights about the inefficiencies of multi tasking in the globalised, digital age of 24/7.
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