Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Time Management Tuesday: Multipliers

Multipliers are activities that meet more than one goal. This way of using time is the first really new time management concept I've come across in a while. At least, it was new for me when I read about it a couple of weeks ago.

Jennifer Aaker is the name I see most often associated with multipliers. In Rethinking Time: The Power of Multipliers, you can see her speak, and briefly, on the subject.

Multiple Goals, Not Multiple Tasks

Note that we're not talking about multi-tasking here. You're not trying to do more than one thing at a time, something that researchers now say can't be done, anyway. Multi-tasking is simply quickly flipping back and forth between tasks, not working on them simultaneously.

Multiplying is doing just one task that addresses more than one goal. It's the goals that multiply. One activity is working toward more than one of them. That's why you're getting more done. You're not having to work on one goal at a time.

Which Goals?

When I've read about multipliers, the writers played up this strategy as a way of helping people meet personal goals. One example was a parent who has to bring work home and does it with her children while they're doing their homework. She meets a work goal and a parental goal. Another example is a woman who has goals related to fitness and maintaining social connections, so she invites a friend to run/hike/whatever with her. (I've got to pause and say how poorly that would go over in my circle. I mean it. I was part of a social walking group. As my sister would put it, it was like herding cats.)

How about using multipliers on multiple work goals? Because I've been assessing how well I stay on task with goals and objectives this past year, I'd already noticed that I sometimes do take part in activities that meet more than one of this year's work goals. I just hadn't realized it was "a thing," and that maybe I could be thinking about doing it in a more organized, pro-active way.

For instance, The Mummy Hunters draft is a goal for this year. So is community building. When I attend writers' group and we discuss Mummy Hunters, I'm hitting two goals with one activity. When I attend a book fair and use the material here in the blog, which markets me, I'm hitting the community building and marketing goals.

You Need Goals And Objectives To Make Multipliers Work For You


You recall, I'm sure because I'm always yammering about it, that goals are what you want to do and objectives are the tasks you will undertake to achieve the goal. Those objectives/tasks are the activities that you can use to meet more than one goal. To make multipliers work, you have to be aware of your goals and objectives. If you hope to find activities that can meet personal goals, too, you'll need to be thinking about objectives for them even if you don't formally create them. For me, a lot of my reading could be described as a personal goal, something I simply want to do. Yet a lot of my personal reading ends up in this blog, part of my professional marketing goal. (And community building, for that matter.) This post is an example. I read about multipliers in More Magazine, not Poets & Writers.

I've read that the multiplier concept is a new way of thinking about time. But I wonder if it isn't also a new way of thinking about goals and objectives.

Since January will be here shortly, it's time to be thinking about goals and objectives for next year. Try to think about objectives differently so you can try to get more out of them.

Yes, I hope you'll be hearing about this a lot from me next year.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

I'm glad community building was one of your goals this year! And I'm loving the delivery of OC to my inbox. It's helping with my objective on keeping up with friends' writing blogs. ;)