Multi-tasking for the win

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“What’s your best productivity hack?” That’s the question posed to a group of busy executives whose answers were reported in an article I just scanned. (That’s one of my hacks: scan more, read less).

Anyway, a surprising number mentioned a specific type of multi-tasking they do. Several of the respondents use their driving time to make calls.

It lets them use what would otherwise be downtime to get some (billable) work done.

That surprised me because everyone “knows” multi-tasking doesn’t work. You can’t effectively do two things at once.

Yes, but there are exceptions and for some people, talking and driving is one of them.

But not for me.

When I’m driving, I find it difficult to give someone on the phone my full attention. I’m sure I sound distracted because, frankly, I am.

Probably why some states want to outlaw it.

There are other ways to use drive time (or commute time). You can do some dictation, listen to podcasts, rehearse a presentation, or record notes about your current case or project.

I’ve done all of the above, in the car and on my walks. Much easier when it’s just you.

Generally, though, I get my best work done when I concentrate on one thing at a time.

But, there is an exception here, too.

I often do some of my best thinking in the car. I reason my way through problems, brainstorm ideas, and flesh out “the next step” in whatever I’m working on.

But I won’t call anyone to discuss it until I get home.

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