Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Accidental Multitasker

My boss has asked me to conduct a time study of my work habits for the next couple of weeks, so I'm keeping track of how much time I spend on different tasks and projects. Supposedly the idea is to justify hiring a high-level administrative assistant, so I don't have to do so much paperwork and can concentrate on more managerial responsibilities. Of course, I'm sure she's also using this chance to check up on me. That doesn't worry me, though, because I have no trouble staying very busy.

I've only been doing this for about a day, but I couldn't believe it when I looked at yesterday's list and saw that only twice all day did I spend more than 15 minutes focused on any one thing. The only times I could concentrate for 20 or 30 minutes in a row was when I was having a face-to-face discussion with someone about an issue.

I spend most of my time asking people to do things, and the rest of my time following up to make sure they did them. This probably isn't the best use of any employee's time, but it would be doable if I didn't have my own things to do. I need to hire a new employee, and complete a performance review for another one, and get some invoices paid.

So far, I've always managed to accomplish everything I needed to eventually, but now I'm wondering how. No wonder I'm behind all the time if I'm interrupted every 15 minutes to deal with one issue after another. Maybe I need to designate some "leave me alone" time each day and close my door and turn off the phone. However, I'm the only person with an office but no window, so I'd worry people would think I'm taking a nap or something while I'm ignoring them.

Pleh, maybe I will. I'm not getting anything done as it is. I might as well take advantage.

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