Multi-Tasking Is Ineffective For Freelancers

Multi-Tasking Doesn’t Work

As freelancers, we often find ourselves with a variety of jobs. It can be tempting to perform multi-tasking. I have been guilty of this. I have multiple tabs open and I am working on different jobs at the same time.

Does it work?


I realized this very quickly when a client asked me why on the content I was writing about insurance is there a paragraph in the middle that makes no sense. It was a paragraph from an article I was also working on at the same time about Latent Semantic Indexing.

At this moment, I turned red-faced and had to revise both articles. Talk about embarrassing.

What Scientists Say About Multi-Tasking

Scientists have studied this habit of the human population called multi-tasking. They have determined that our brains are not wired to effectively switch between tasks, and we lose time in the process. We then lie to ourselves and say that we made better time.

The world essentially teaches us that multi-tasking is the way to succeed in life, but if you were to study the most successful people, I would wager that they seldom, if ever multi-task.

We see people texting on their smartphones while they are drinking their coffee and trying to pay for the groceries they just bought. Now, instead of looking at that person, look at the cashier and all the people behind them in the line…You will see frustration and stress, because this person who assumes they are getting a lot done all at once are actually wasting a lot of their own time, and the time of many other people.

How To Break The Multi-Tasking Binge

In the freelancing world, multi-tasking is so tempting, that even at the moment I am typing this article, I find myself wanting to multi-task. It is better to make a simple daily schedule. Turn off email notification so that doesn’t interrupt you as you are doing your freelancing jobs. I suggest the night before, you plan out the most important jobs, and work each one, one by one. Do not start a new one until the other is finished and sent.

Pick certain times to check emails, social media, and those other tasks that are essentially not money-making tasks.

Final Thoughts

I had stated in another post that as freelancers we want to provide the best work we possibly can. Even if we think we are doing great work while multi-tasking, the fact is: it is not as good as it could be.

Try not multi-tasking and check the results. I believe you will find that clients will be more satisfied, and I also think you will get more work done.

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