You always hear that the modern manager has to multitask and that this is the way forward. I also used to think this and was one of those people with 10 internet explorer windows open at any one time, with another 5 email windows and then talking on the phone. I was proud of the fact that I could do so much simultaneously.
What I have discovered is that multitasking is not the way forward. When you don’t complete things one at a time you end up spending a lot of energy revisiting old tasks. For instance, if you are reading 3 books at one time it will take you a bit of time to regain where you left off the last time you put one of the books down. Also you have to regather your ‘bearings’ when you restart the task.
The best method I have discovered is the ‘one touch’ method. As soon as you touch something like an email or a letter to finish the task straight away. Rather than putting it aside and then restarting the task at a later stage – which will require more energy – complete the task straight away. This way you feel less stressed and the task is more likely to be completed on time and the stress of it is more likely to not stay with you.