Every day needs a plan and every plan needs flexibility.
You've arranged the order to accomplish the day's activities and begin to work your plan. But you know, however (because you've done a reality check), that your day will not go as planned.
On a typical day, you can expect to get caught in the crossfire of interruptions, the unexpected will bubble up, and demands will fall out of the sky at inconvenient times. Flexicuting will be required.
Events are fluid in today's work-life environment. We must change, adapt, and shift focus all day.
Flexicuting involves the ability to:
- Be as willing to leave your activity list when priorities shift, just as you are willing to stick with it.
- Be able to turn on a dime in the middle of the day when an opportunity presents itself, when aligned with priorities.
- Developing the habit of reserving some time every day to deal with the unexpected.
- Being wired 24/7 without letting it be a source of frustration.
Would you like to become a flexicuter? Here's how.
First, stop multitasking. When you are executing multiple activities at the same time, none of these activities has your complete focus. If you must multitask, it should only be done when you combine simple, mindless tasks.
Beware of multitasking while engaging with another person; for example, replying to a text message or reading your email while carrying on a business conversation. Not only is this disrespectful and a put-down of the other person, but it's also easy to miss the point or misinterpret the communication.
Never multitask while carrying on a conversation with another person.
Multitasking, when abused, leads to time contamination. An example of time contamination would be taking your child out for pizza so you can have some quality one-on-one time together and then taking a cell phone call for five minutes while your child stares into space. Time contamination is also working on your laptop or phone while supposedly watching your child's hockey game.
That goal you missed because you were looking at your phone won't be as fond as the memory of your child's first goal.
Try alternate tasking instead. Alternate tasking is the natural result of being wired 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Living under these conditions, it makes sense to alternate our work and personal life activities so we can fully experience both. While multi tasking can contaminate time, alternate tasking does not.
Alternate tasking is being 100 percent where you are. So be 100 percent in the pizza shop with your child and then place the call, or reply to the text message after the pizza outing. Alternate tasking permits us to fully engage all activities without diluting or contamination of the experience.
Alternate tasking can help you get more done in less time than multi tasking because, when you are fully engaged, you are more efficient and productive.
A valuable tip.
Flexicuting also involves the oscillation of our daily activities. In other words, we alternate activities that require an intense concentration of effort with easier and less stressful activities. The easier activities give you a chance to recover your energy and then re-engage again.
One of the foremost experts in the country on this subject is Dr. James Loehr, who co-wrote, among other books, The Power of Full Engagement. He advises managing our day as a series of sprints, each followed by adequate recovery time.
If you are executing activities all day long as a marathon, it's likely you won't be as effective and will possibly burn yourself out by the end of the day. If you are executing activities all day long as a marathon, you will likely be less effective and possibly burn yourself out by the end of the day. Flexicuting and making waves during the day is not only ridiculously easy—it can also be fun.