Hire a multi-tasker and you’ll get more done in less time, right?
Absolutely dead wrong.
While the temptation might be pretty strong, here are just a few reasons why a multi-tasker is just what you don’t need in your business.
MULTI-TASKING ROBS PETER TO PAY PAUL
In the short run, when you have an “expert” multi-tasker, they get a lot of things done.
The problem is, your staff member also burns tons of mental energy in the process. Which leads to a bandwidth problem.
Here’s my take on other trickle down effects of multitasking long-term.
HUMANS ARE NOT BIOLOGICALLY WIRED TO MULTI-TASK
Think about a time when your attention got divided between two or more things.
Got that scenario recalled?
Great. Now tell me this.
How did you perform handling multiple inputs at the same time?
Because truthfully, you can’t give your full attention to either task when you’re attempting to do them concurrently. Which is the exact reason your performance suffers in the process.
What goes for you goes the same for your new hire.
Given the choice between your team member doing two things half as good, or doing one thing at a time the best that they can, what’s your preference?
DISTRACTION IS THE DEATH OF PRODUCTIVITY
The human attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish. You have something like 7 seconds to hold someone’s attention.
Add multitasking to the mix, and you’ve got an even shorter span of time.
When the brain jumps in and out of task after task, it can’t adequately focus long enough to get any of them done. So, instead of a multi-tasker being an asset, they become a liability.
A distracted brain can’t see tasks to completion if it’s constantly bombarded with them.
Think of it like a smartphone with too many apps open and running in the background at the same time.
Not only will you burn the battery out much faster, but the app you’re actively using starts to glitch if it doesn’t shut down and kick you out of it completely.
THE MULTI-TASKER CUNNUMDRUM
You say you want someone who can handle multiple responsibilities and tasks all at once. And you also say you want someone who is highly productive.
Does it make sense to you now why those two conditions are contradictory?
Constantly hammering your team member with tasks they may be able to do but outside of their job requirements burdens their capacity and burns them out.
Just like you’re a bottleneck in production when you’re spinning too many plates in the air, so too is your team member.
Try this instead.
DEFINE AND DELEGATE
Make a list of the tasks that need to be completed. Assign priority to each task that needs to be done. Decide who is best to complete each task.
Then, deploy your task list when you delegate.
Be sure to outline the dependencies of each task in the project sequence with the team members too. Ensure everyone is aware that missing individual deadlines affects the completion of the next phase of the project.
Once you deploy, stay out of your team’s way. Let them do their jobs.
Don’t try to jump in and do their parts and your own, or you’ll end up right back at the multi-tasker burnout stage.
SIDE EFFECTS OF PROPER DELEGATION
Besides giving you more space to think because you’ve uncluttered your overtaxed brain, you get to build your team’s confidence.
You allow them to do what you ask, they deliver.
Which also leads to a boost of confidence in their abilities along with a deeper appreciation for their work. You’re demonstrating that you trust them to deliver the results they know they’re capable of delivering.
Now, you’re fostering an environment to develop each team member while leaving them room to grow their skills.
You create a new habit of extreme focus. Your team feels empowered. Win-win!
HIRING A MULTI-TASKER HURTS YOUR TEAM CULTURE
Multitasking strains brains. It’s the ultimate distraction.
And truthfully, multi-taskers are less productive in the long-term.
When you choose to delegate and deploy, you get to develop a habit of extreme focus while empowering your staff and fostering an environment of trust and teamwork.
Learning how to properly identify and delegate the right tasks is critical to running a successful and satisfying business.
It’s a process that’s worth the investment of your time and energy, because multitasking is a shortcut that costs you too much in the long run.
I’m here if you need help to define and design your own delegation strategy. Schedule a free call with me and let’s talk about it.