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How to Multitask Effectively

mom life mompreneur multitasking time management working mom Nov 15, 2022
Marisa Lonic Time Management and Productivity Expert, Working Mom

Question for you...

Do you multitask?

Be honest.

When I ask moms this question, the standard answer I get is either, "All the time" like it's a necessity in their lives even though it makes them feel frazzled and stressed when they do or "Yes" with a shameful stance like they do it, even though they know they shouldn't. 

So, as someone who considers herself an expert in time management and productivity AND someone who also gets what it means to juggle ALL. THE. THINGS. when you're a working mom wearing so many hats, I want to share with you my stance when it comes to multitasking.

You're gonna want to write this down.

Here it is, my mantra when it comes to multitasking. 

Multitask the Mindless.

Solotask the Mindful.

Let me explain.

Multitask things you can basically do on autopilot, things that come so easily and so naturally to you, things that if you messed them up just a little bit, wouldn't be the end of the world. When I think about mindless things, I often think about chores around the house: folding the laundry, cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, packing lunches. Sometimes, I even think about working out if I'm walking on my treadmill, for example. What you'll want to multitask these things with are things that will inch you closer to BIG goals, things that make you feel fulfilled, things that bring you JOY (because let's get real, folding laundry doesn't bring too many of us joy these days--at least not when you have the volume to fold that I have). Here are some things you may want to consider multitasking with these mindless tasks:

🎤 Listen to a podcast

🎥 Put on a documentary

📞 Call a friend

📕 Listen to an audio book

🎶 Pop on a playlist of your favorite songs and sing

🧠 Clear your mind and see what new and amazing idea you get (yes, believe it or not, this takes work as a mom with a cluttered mental load)

Now, on the flip side, when it comes to solotasking the mindful, do NOT, I repeat do NOT try to multitask these things. What are mindful things? These are activities you want to be fully present for, tasks that are super important to you, people who matter most to you, and things that if you did mess up would, indeed, cost you extra time, extra money, and likely your sanity along with it. Mindful things that come to mind here include having dinner with your family, working on a creative work project, even email communication should not be multitasked (think about how badly that could go if the wrong thing was sent to the wrong person). Be all in when it comes to tasks like these. Draw the line. Set the boundary. Be fully present. 

When we choose to multitask the wrong things, not only do costly mistakes happen that end up taking up more of our precious time, energy and maybe even money, but we tend to feel more stressed, more frazzled, and less in control of our time. It's like we make it by the skin of our teeth, and while there can be a temporary high of excitement when we do, it usually ends up catching up to us showing up in ways like burn out, chronic stress, and recovery periods that block any and all productivity at all. We end up having to nurse ourselves back to normalcy, if we can even remember what normalcy is. 

When you're a mom, multitasking feels inevitable. It would be hypocritical of me to tell you point blank NOT to multitask because IYKYK #momlife, but it would also be wrong of me not to share how to do it effectively and responsibly so we can stop trying to live up to impossible standards. Stop trying to multitask everything, mama. Start using this mantra of choosing effectively. And watch how your productivity soars along with your sanity.

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