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July 29, 2019

Side Hustle Sanity: Multitasking Doesn’t Work

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Side Hustle Sanity: Multitasking Doesn’t Work

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I’m back with the last installment of my Side Hustle Sanity series. If you didn’t catch the first two blog posts, Don’t Boil the Ocean and Be Present to Spark Creativity, please read them! Whether you’re working on your own business, taking on a large project, or just trying to juggle all the things life throws at you, each of these posts can give you actionable tips to accomplish them.

If you want to find out more about the best way to multitask, then you will want to keep on reading!

Multitasking workout frustrated blonde curly hair athletic photshoot
How I really feel about multitasking

The Truth About Multitasking

Now let’s talk about everyone’s favorite hot word: multi-tasking.  Nowadays as a human being it feels necessary to be able to do a ton of things at once. For example, I’ve found as a new mother, multi-tasking is almost a necessity. You’ve got to be ready for anything when it comes to your child and their growing and developing needs.  Plus, how else would the laundry, cooking, and the house stay clean if I weren’t doing everything at once?

But when it comes to your business, the same effort may actually work against you.  Attempting to do multiple things at a time may yield results but they may not be the best. Quantity doesn’t necessary equal quality. The truth is when you multi-task, you take away or give up on something else.  This constant churn of hopping from one thing to another and doing things half-way can lead to feeling burned out and never getting anything accomplished. Btw: need help combating burnout? Read what I do to recenter myself!)

Multitasking workout frustrated blonde curly hair athletic photoshoot
Me trying to balance it all.

Best Ways to Multitask

The fact of the matter is most of us have no other choice but to multi-task to accomplish both their personal and business goals.  That’s when it’s important to work smarter not harder.  There really is no set best way to multitask other than finding what works for you. But there are ways to make the load on you easier.

Outsource It

Lean on tools that can help you stay organized, such as smart phone apps or even an old school planner (I personally use both!).  Outsource things when possible. For example, I use an app to have my groceries delivered each week. So instead of running to the grocery store, searching for my items, standing in line, driving home, and unloading them from the car, I pay a small fee to shop from home and use my time to work on something else.  

Get Visual

Sometimes simply visualizing can help you accomplish items off your to do list.  Use a Kanban board to visualize all your to do’s and know what stages all your tasks are.  You can certainly go the e-visual route by using apps or programs such as Asana, Quip or even Trello

You can also go the DIY route by creating a simple Kanban board by using stickie notes and blank wall anywhere in your home.  Each sticky note will represent a task, goal, or objective. Then create different stages for that stickie note to reside in, for example, “To Do”, “In Progress”, and “Done”.  Take things a step further and color code each task per project. For example, pink sticky notes can represent accounting needs for your business, yellow may be marketing, blue for social media, etc.  By visually organizing with this simple tool you can easily see what and where each task is.

Example of Kanban Board on Quip
Example of Kanban Board on Quip.com

Number One Way to Multitask: Ask for Help

If you’re a self-admitted multitasker then you probably already have a hard time asking for help, am I right?  Truth is most of us usually know we can’t do it all but we for some reason we always try to. I know for me I feel like I’m bothering or inconvenience people with my problem. But if we simply asked for help or even sought it, we then could devote more time towards working on the big picture of our business.  Honestly, some people thrive of helping others and when you do, it actually feels good. Best of all, family and friends are usually willing to give up their time to help for free! This is why asking for help is one of the single best ways to multitask.

Personally I have a hard time giving up tasks for my business simply because I want creative control over everything.  For me, my brand is my business. But I realized recently that I cannot grow my business without extending my network and getting help, whether that be outsourcing or leaning on my tribe. 

Thankfully, thru the Orange Collab I have a great network of like-minded individuals I can work with and who specialize in niches to help accomplish my goals.  Sometimes I even lean on my husband to help me with streamlining tasks for my business such as taking pictures for me. Most recently I outsourced help by hiring multiple freelancers from Upwork to complete a major parts of my upcoming course, For Da Gram.  While I certainly could have done it myself, it would’ve taken me much longer and I likely would have made many mistakes.

Ultimately, even with all this help, I still have creative control over my brand and business as everything still must be approved by me before it’s shared with the public.  By letting go and getting help, I’m actually able to do more.  

Multitasking workout frustrated blonde curly hair athletic photoshoot
Trying to figure out what I need help on.

Figure Out What to Get Help On

So how do you figure out the best way to multitask for you? Basicallyl how do you decide what what you should spend your time on, ask for help on or outsource? Well, sometimes it’s a matter of knowing what can’t do, what you kind of can do, what you sometimes like to do, and what you love to do.

Discover what your Zone of Incompetence, Zone of Competence, Zone of Excellence, and Zone of Genius by sitting down and writing out the skills that are relative to each of these zones that align to the tasks and goals you need to accomplish for your business.  By organizing your thoughts this way, you’ll quickly see where you can get help and where you can focus your energy on.

Zone of Incompetence

Typically anything you don’t understand and lack experience doing.  Don’t know how to code, create a website, or design business cards? You might want to outsource these efforts or ask for help.

Zone of Competence

You may be able to complete these tasks, however, there may be others who do them better.  Sure, you may be able to take pictures on your iPhone, but by hiring a photographer with a professional camera you can take your business and marketing to a whole new level.

Zone of Excellence

In this zone you are good at doing a particular task or job and usually enjoy doing it, although there are times you may not.  For example, I can create and edit videos and when the time allows, I really like doing so. But it isn’t something I always want to do, and therefore generally leaves me feeling unfulfilled.  Therefore, I may sometimes create my own videos or I may outsource editing to someone else depending on where my mind is.

Zone of Genius

This is your sweet spot, where you just flow.  It’s doing what you love, are passionate about, and just feels natural.  In the end, it doesn’t feel like work. My zone of genius in business is networking.  I can easily spark conversations with strangers and naturally create engaging dialogue. It doesn’t usually feel like work even interacting with the shyest, introverted person who’s hard to pull information out of, our the open book who wants to tell me their life story.  In all takes little to no effort or energy for me to meet new people as I keep in the back of my head: you never know who you may cross paths with again.

Now that you’ve learned about the best ways to multitask, which of these do you think you’ll use to get things done? Share them in the comments below as well as any other tips you may have.

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  1. […] family, and other obligations, it can get even harder which is why I have work smarter not harder (check out my blog post all about that!). What really helps me do this is to batch and plan my content. Batching really isn’t a […]

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