Humans are lousy multitaskers. Too many people claim to be great at it, but the truth is we really are not. They we are fooling themselves. If we take on too many tasks, the result is we either don’t get anything done, or we have to cut corners in an attempt to get everything done.
Buddhists believe you should concentrate all your efforts on one task and become great at it. You will do it better than everyone else. It doesn’t matter what the task is or how small. Just do your best to get it done using all of your efforts. We have a ritual in the CHG Offices that says – “Touch it once”. Meaning once we start it, we complete it till it’s most possible completion.
There is a way, however, to multitask that will lead to efficiency gains. You can outsource some of your tasks. Outsourcing has exploded onto the scene in the past decade and is a great way to leverage your time. You can get multiple tasks completed in a fraction of the time and depending on the quality of the outsourcers, it will be done correctly.
The good news is you can be selective on who you choose for your outsourcing. If one doesn’t work out, you simply ask them to correct their mistakes, or you don’t use them again. When you find a great team of outsourcers, you become an unstoppable force.
More companies are adopting the approach of outsourcing. Many companies are outsourcing entire departments where this makes sense. Why fund a credit department when there is a company that can do it for you? The same is true for payroll, IT, and a host of other company functions. You don’t worry about salaries or benefits when you do this. You simply pay a fee for services based on your agreement with them. Depending on the size of your company and the services that you are outsourcing, you can save a significant amount of money when you do this.
Some companies are even allowing their employees to outsource portions of their duties, where it makes sense to do this. For instance, web programmers are not typically known to be good designers. The company either doesn’t have a graphic design department or the group is booked solid with work for other groups. Outsourcing the design can solve this dilemma and give the project the right look and feel.
Of course, you will need to manage the outsourcers, and that often includes getting the specifications right for what you want to be accomplished. But, this is a skill like any other and is something you will get better with over time.