Do You Need A Marilou Covey?

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As a high-powered business executive like marilou covey, I always believed that I could multitask like nobody’s business. That is, until my doctor told me to downshift on my ability to accomplish multiple tasks simultaneously. The issue was that no matter how hard I tried, it didn’t seem possible to keep up with my work and the rest of life.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be mindful of your focus and not get pulled away from concentrating on one thing at a time. 

1. Don’t multitask by doing several things at once. Instead, concentrate on one task at a time. 

2. Work in short bursts of energy, followed by conscious rest and renewal periods. (I’ve found meditating for 20 minutes per day can be a great way to renew energy and focus).

3. Be aware of what it is you’re trying to achieve, and prioritize tasks to achieve your goal most effectively. 

4. Be aware of how you’re feeling throughout the process, whether it’s stress from being overloaded or frustration from not being able to achieve your goals as quickly as you’d like.

5. Schedule time to do nothing, without any tasks or demands on your time. (That’s right, I said “do nothing”).

6. Take care of yourself physically and make sure you are getting enough rest and exercise to be at the top of your game. 

7. Be mindful during all of these activities so you can keep up a high level of concentration and be aware of when to shift gears from one task to another. 

8. Take breaks and when you do, try to clear your mind of all distractions and let your body rest. 

9. Take care of your relationships by understanding that no matter how busy you are, it is still possible to maintain healthy relationships with the people close to you.

10. Be aware of how you feel about each task or task that is on the table, in order to make sure you aren’t becoming stressed-out or overwhelmed during some tasks and not others. 

11. Keep an eye out for things that are negatively affecting your sleep cycle (or lack thereof) so you can use those times as a time for self-care too.

12. Create a schedule that allows you to set aside time for your priorities and not “just say yes” to everything that comes your way.

13. Take control of your life by learning how to prioritize and shift focus when needed.

14. Recognize the importance of taking care of yourself as well as others, and giving away some of your time and attention when you are able to be a good listener, instead of just talking about what you need for yourself.

15. Have compassion for yourself even if you feel like it’s not possible to do everything at once and recognize that doing so is the best place where peace comes from, while still being able to achieve goals in the present moment.

16. Remember that “people pleasing” can be a big thing for you, so recognize it when you are being too focused on the needs of others and not putting yourself first.

Environment is everything! If you work in a stressful environment with no support and nowhere to turn, then don’t be surprised if you’re tired, overwhelmed, stressed-out and unable to focus. 

I highly recommend that if you feel like your life is spinning out of control or that your mind is racing from one thing to another, you should find people who will support your quest for achieving a healthy balance between work and life.

These might include: 

1. A counselor or therapist who will help you deal with feelings related to overload and stress. 

2. A trusted friend who will listen to what you’re dealing with and help you figure out how to achieve balance.

3. An accountability partner who will make sure you do what needs to be done in your life and isn’t afraid to say “No” if you need it.

4. A coach or adviser who will help you sort out how to prioritize tasks so that when the time comes for you to focus on an important task, you will be ready to go rather than frustrated about not being able to complete several things at once, thus taking your focus off of what really matters most.

5. A mentor who will help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and support you in learning how to shift your focus without being pulled away from what matters most.

I’m not a fan of multi-tasking and neither is Covey. In fact, she believes that it’s part of the reason why we have so many problems.

Recently, I took a workshop that taught us how to become master multi-taskers versus becoming what Covey calls “time robbers.”

If you are an individual who constantly jumps from one task to another, then you might want to learn more about Covey’s stance on this issue. 

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