I know what your most likely thinking… healthy multi tasking does not exist, and believe us, we used to think the same thing! That was until we used a little creative thinking to make it possible. So welcome to Part 3 of our Photography Business, Life + Balance – 3 Part Series. You can read Part One here: PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS, LIFE + BALANCE: WHY YOUR “TO DO” LIST IS HURTING YOU and Part Two here: PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS, LIFE + BALANCE: CREATIVE THINKING FOR WEEKLY SCHEDULES.
For the sake of our sanity and mental health we took some time to do research on multi tasking. What we learned is that recent neuroscience research tells us that the brain doesn’t really do tasks simultaneously, as we thought (hoped) it might. In fact, we just switch tasks quickly. For example each time we move from listening to our favorite playlist to writing an email or doing a snapchat while hanging out with friends, there is a stop/start process that goes on in our brains. And the truth is that start/stop/start process is rough on us and instead of saving us time, it was costing us time (even very small micro seconds), it’s less efficient, we make more mistakes, and over time it can be energy sapping.
So how the heck did we come up with Healthy Multi-Tasking and using it in our weekly schedules to save us time… right?!
What we did is take tasks that require no thought and combined them with tasks that do. Which means balancing work and life together on an even more intricate level throughout our work day.
Here are a few examples.
• Five days a week we start our morning off with a 1 hr workout. We also like to snag about 20 mins of sun each day + we are in the process of a lot of home remodeling on our new little A-frame (which can take hours on end). So over the past few months we have creatively combined these three tasks. To start we looked at our home repairs and selected the ones that incorporate the most amount of manual labor. Building our wooden fence is one that ranks the highest right now. What we have done is set aside one hour to work on our fence each day. During that hour we wear out bathing suits (to get in our sun – no brain work needed) and we add in running for tools + squat holds while painting or putting up fence slats. So essentially we have combined our 1hr workout, sun time and home project all into a one – one hour task without having a start/stop/start process. This allows us to skip the one hour morning workout because we are getting that while working on the fence and use that (now extra on hour) time for the business.
• Another example is taking time for education during our lunch break. Brandon and I are always staying current on new educational opportunities for our business. We believe you can never learn to much and we are forever students. Knowledge is power. So during our 1hr lunch breaks we also take time to watch educational videos, take an online class or join a workshop. We typically drink a smoothie for lunch and eat a few veggies so nothing too tasking on the brain.
• And one of our favorites is laundry and editing. On editing days we do our laundry. Really it’s simple. Every hour while editing we need to take a break to stretch, rest our eyes, get some water and move around, other wise being at the computer for hours on end can do so much damage to our health and mental well being. So with that in mind we have learned to combine editing with laundry. Having to change the laundry each hour gives is a great excuse to move away from the computer, rest our eyes, stretch and also grab a glass of water while we are down stairs.
We hope this helps to spark creative thinking into how you can also healthy multi-task. We are always looking for other healthy was to multi task. The key for us is combining tasks that require no thought and combined them with tasks that do. Please feel free to share any that pop in your mind in the comments below.