By Dawn L. Friedel
I attended the July Chamber Professional Women’s Luncheon at Embassy Suites Raleigh-Durham/Research Triangle Park to network with other women and learn how to maximize my personal productivity. I arrived early, and the lobby was already buzzing with the sound of voices as women from many local companies gathered and exchanged information. I stopped at several of the vendor booths to say hello and learn about other businesses, some I didn’t know are in the area. As a Citrix employee, I was happy to talk about my company, explain what we do, and describe our unique culture.
When the lecture opened, I chose a table with several ladies from a variety of businesses. It was a pleasure to speak with Patty Page from Personal Lifestyle Concierge and Ashley McGee from Theo Davis Printing. While enjoying the salad and bread, I filled out the Wheel of Life and questionnaire that would be used to help determine how much of my energy I spend on relationships, the environment, body, mind, and spirit, and work.
The speakers were engaging, and I could relate to the stories they told about needing to set priorities, be more productive, use my energy wisely, and focus on accomplishing tasks (one at a time). We heard from:
- Becky Jacobs, CEO, Simple Change Wellness
- Kim Brame McGimsey, founder, Breakthrough Health
- Emily Parks, productivity consultant, Organize for Success
When asked who was a good multi-tasker, my hand went up in the air as I juggle to balance, work, school, volunteering, and my personal life. But by the end of the session, I learned just how unproductive it is to multi-task. When given the statistic that there is a 40 percent loss in productivity due to multi-tasking, it didn't sink in until they had me prove it. Timing a simple task like writing the alphabet and a string of numbers took me only 30 seconds when I was able to do one and then the other. However, when I had to switch between the two, or multi-task, it took me one and a half times as long (45 seconds, for those who don’t want to do the math).
There are only 1,440 minutes in a day, so making the most of that time requires organization. Using the Eisenhower Box to determine what needs to be done, the order in which to do it, what to delegate to others, and what to remove was very insightful. I came away with insight on how to make myself more productive and with a plan to get started. I’m pleased I was able to attend this session and feel I have tools to be more productive as a result.