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Tales From the Dark Side of Multi-tasking

May 11, 2013

Our last weekly tip was on how your audience experiences your company. As it turns out, I misspelled several words in the email...grrrr. Of course, the reason was because I was multi-tasking and in a hurry. I was writing the email, moving our email service to Hubspot for the first time and watching my two and a half year old twins, which was a bad combination! The 'experience' that our readers got from our tips could not have been great, because of the mistakes. How ironic.

Screen shot 2013-05-11 at 4.15.57 PMWe are human and all make mistakes, but multi-tasking, and in particular, being in a hurry seems to guarantee mistakes. After kicking myself and talking with another teammate we discussed how we all have made those mistakes. Here are a couple more of our recent dumb mistakes to share with you and how to avoid them.

Our Mistakes Revealed

In addition to our errors in the last weekly tips that I just mentioned, we created an invitation for our Marketing Academy. It laid nicely and looked great, but we forgot to add the dates. Apparently dates are important to add if it’s an event.

Then,  in an email tip about a month ago there was a call to action for a webinar, however, I forgot to link it to the event.

So, don’t do as we do.  Consider these tips we have to offer:

  • First and foremost do NOT multitask! Studies have proven that we do a poor job at both tasks when we are trying to do two things. Just remember what our parents taught us; to do our best and take your time to do it right.
  • Turn off your email alerts and minimize your email.
  • Be present in your task. If you are on the phone pay attention. I have never successfully been on a phone call or webinar and been doing something else without missing what someone said.
  • Set aside enough time for the task at hand. When you get rushed, mistakes are more likely to happen - this is my kryptonite
  • If your task involves writing make sure that you do the following:
    • Take a break and come back to it.
    • Review it without distractions in a quiet place.
    • Run your spellchecker as opposed to just looking for the red underlines - it will start from the top and call out every questionable word.  And remember that spell checker checks for spelling, not meaning. You have a totally correct word, but it can be the wrong one two (see what I mean).
    • If you were using a template or previously used document like a proposal, make sure to do a search for the last company name to make sure you replaced them all
    • Read your document backwards.
    • Change the page layout from portrait to landscape which will move the text around and reset your brain.
    • While I hate encouraging killing trees, a hardcopy can also give your eyes a different perspective.
    • Read your text out loud.
    • If you are lucky enough to have other team members, get them to do one final pass. Invariably one or two more mistakes are usually caught.

The real moral of the story is that multi-tasking is a bad habit that most of us do, and it always causes more problems and causes more work. If you have any dumb things you have done or want to add any other tips, please share.


Written by leadingresults

Leading Results helps businesses stop wasting money on marketing and improves their business development results by putting POWER in their marketing. The POWER is the Processes, Organizational Support, Why (you do what you do), Expertise and Refer-ability. You get strategy, tactics and execution. We work with both individual businesses and businesses as part of a larger ecosystem. Be more profitable.

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