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Why you should stop multitasking and should limit your Work in Process now!

Updated: Sep 24, 2022

When you want the absolute best chance to succeed at anything you want, your approach should always be the same. Narrow down your Work In Process (WIP) to improve your focus. This will enable you to solve quicker for that one thing you are working on and quickly move faster onto the next thing. It is much more rewarding and efficient to have finished to, three or even one thing and be able to move to the next than having 10 things in flight without bringing any of them to closure.

If you start unlocking the value that each of these finished tasks provides, you will get on a groove; you will move on to the next task and finish it, and then to the next, and it creates this domino effect of accomplishment that leads to high efficiency and extraordinary results.

Developing Good Habits

As Gary Keller points out in his book “The One Thing”, there are six lies that will prevent you from being successful:

  1. Everything Matters Equally

  2. Multitasking

  3. A Disciplined Life

  4. Willpower Is Always on Will-Call

  5. A Balanced Life

  6. Big Is Bad

When we are caught on the day to day, on the inevitable swirl of “business as usual” everything seems to be important and we tend to lose focus on what things are more value to the business. We lose sight of what success really looks like and we tend to focus on things that are less productive, and we become what we call “busy”. Have you felt like this before? Have you been busy all day, navigating through a million tasks of things that need to be done and felt totally unaccomplished by the end of the day? If you have a big to-do list you likely loose focus of those really important things that add value.

It is very important that you develop good habits to help you get organized and systematically approach your day to day to ensure maximum productivity. . If you can manage to establish good habits to tackle your days in a methodic way, you are training yourself to do things in a specific way. It is not easy to acquire new habits, particularly because it presents the challenge to get rid of the current habits. Research shows that it takes about two months to acquire a new habit. Think about that … and do not give up if the new norm seems off for a little bit, allow yourself to adapt in time. Give yourself grace to make mistakes and not be perfect from the get-go. Fail early & fails fast and learn from those mistakes. You will perfect your processes as you move along. That is the beauty of continuous improvement.

We address continuous improvement and company culture on this article. It is a good starting point to understand how permissive of change and adaptive your organization really is.

Organization through prioritization

There are several ways to organize yourself, so I will present you with a real simple way to kick start your self-organization moving forward.

Try to focus on building a Goal List first. Those goals could be short term or long term but should be meaningful to you and should tie directly to your organization’s success. If you cannot make a correlation between your goals and your organization’s goals, you have to rethink your strategy and purpose. Try to keep this list short, no more than 3-5 Meaningful Goals. Don’t worry, as you accomplish your goals you can work on this list and add some more when you feel comfortable with it. It is intended to be a living document.

Once you have a Goal List, now you can work on your To-Do list. This should be a very a daily reviewed list. Not a weekly, maybe tomorrow kind of list. Make this list realistic, break down those tasks to the point that they are doable within one day and commit yourself to get them done. If you will not have time or don’t have the resources, commit to get those resources and only list those tasks on the To-Do list once you have time to work on them. This is important because you don’t want to push forward tasks because you couldn’t get them done, or because you didn’t have the time to get to them. You want to make a conscious effort to limit that work in progress and get things done, not out of the way to only face them again tomorrow or next week.

Both lists, your Goals & To-Do list should be prioritized from top to bottom. It is important that you clearly visualize what are the most important goals, and what are the most important things you will do to support those goals. Getting the most important things first is always the most important things. I have always told my work teams to eat their frog first, daily. You can imagine their look on their face when I said that the first time. Simply put, not many people want to eat a frog … and sometimes, the most daunting tasks are the ones that get pushed around till it becomes a critical do or die issue. More often than not, we tend to push forward the big things … Remember that if you have listed a task it is because it is really important and it support your goals, so it is important already, just don’t let it become critical.

Once you are happy with your carefully crafted lists it is time to get to work. Remember, they key to success is not just to organize yourself, but to limit your work in progress so you that you get things done and be able to move on to the next task. You can do two things at once, but you can’t focus effectively on two things at once. It’s not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do, it’s that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have.

Think for a minute, if you are truly working on the most important thing right now, why would you ever contemplate diverting your focus onto something else?

Apply Strategic Thinking

There is more than just prioritizing work. And that is to become a strategic thinker.

Probably the best way to tackle prioritization through strategic thinking is to follow these steps:

  1. Make time to work on this, don’t wing it, make a conscious effort to work on your goals

  2. Establish SMART goals.

  3. Take a lean approach to tackle those goals.

  4. Inspect & adapt your take, embrace continuous improvement

And we can certainly talk to hours on how to organize yourself and create habits to stay organized through the day and week to achieve these goals, but that’s another conversation that we will cover soon in our blog.

As Chris McChensey & Sean Covey explain in their book “The 4 Disciplines of Execution”, to achieve extraordinary results and experience greatness, you start by time blocking these three things in the following order:

  1. Time block your time off

  2. Time block your ONE Thing

  3. Time block your planning time

Remember to block time to rest as well, it is as important as working.

We are here to help you out

Do you have great ideas but you are struggling with getting organized, being productive and need to stop procrastinating?

Whether you are new to entrepreneurship or a seasoned career professional, we are here to help you be successful. We help career oriented professionals and entrepreneur minded individuals alike to become high performing individuals.


You can find more insights and useful tips in our social media posts and in our podcast (all links below) where we share some of the most visionary entrepreneurs’ mission, purpose, accomplishments, and struggles, and their take on what it took for them to be successful.


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