There is a new productivity hack for writers. Say goodbye to scatterbrained multitasking and low-productivity single-tasking. Welcome to Multi-Execution.
The Quick Start Guide
What is it? Multi-Execution is simultaneously executing two or more tasks with singular focus but double, triple or quadruple results.
Why is it better than multitasking? Multitasking splits your focus so each task receives less energy, less effort and less execution. Multi-execution brings singular, 100% focus to each task so both the quality and quantity of results skyrocket.
Why is it better than single tasking? Single tasking by definition only gets one task done. It is better than multitasking but inferior to producing multiple results at the same time. Why single task on one project when you can “single task” on two or more?
Ok, so you are sold. But how do you do it?
3 Secrets of Multi-Execution
1. Automate – otherwise known as passive productivity. This usually involves tech of some kind. The laundry machine, dishwasher, backup system, copier, or application like Hootsuite, widget, etc. You can set it up and let it go (for now).
2. Outsource – Two people working single-mindedly on two tasks is better than one person on one task. This is the birth of teamwork, Scrum and Virtual assistants.
3. Streamline – A system that maximizes efficiency & effectiveness. Crowdsourcing. Split-testing.
Scrum, virtual assistants, split-testing??? Don’t worry, I’ve included a list of helpful links at the bottom of this post to explain all these terms.
- Choose a task (or 4)
- Capture the Clock – the waiting time – for each task
- Apply one or more of the 3 secrets
Case Study: My Next Novel
For the last 3 years, I’ve been working on my next novel – the sequel in my Past Lives series about a reincarnated serial killer.
Three years is a long time. Would it surprise you to find out that I’ve accomplished more in the last 6 months than virtually the entire 3 years? In fact, the book is due out in January 2016.
It wasn’t laziness that slowed me down. It was a variety of factors but one of the most critical was a poor system. I was single-tasking. To say it was a slow process is a gross understatement!
Occasionally I would multi-task with mostly disastrous results. Time wasted and consistently poor outcomes.
Then I stumbled upon multi-execution.
Here’s my step-by-step approach I used with my novel:
1. Choose a Task (or 4). I chose the following tasks:
- Edit the novel
- Create the book cover
- Build a platform
2. Capture the Clock.
- Editing – Multiple people are helping me edit, a professional and several generous early readers. I have to wait for each one to finish editing.
- Book cover – Making my own is beyond my tech capacity. The creation of the cover is the longest “wait” time.
- Platform – The whole process is somewhat slow. Organically building a community is a slow but necessary (and highly rewarding) process. Then there is need for consistent interaction and content creation.
3. Apply the 3 Secrets.
- Automate – I use HootSuite to schedule posts to social media like Twitter and Facebook when I know I won’t be able to manually post such as when I’m sleeping. This allows me to continually interact with my community without the need to forgo Basic human needs. I also use MailChimp to schedule emails to my community on writing tips tricks and secrets. These are exclusive articles that they only receive. Join the community here.
- Outsource – I outsourced the book cover to a professional designer.
- Streamline – One of the ways I have built my Twitter following is through playing Twitter hashtag games. I use the Hashtag Round Up app to join the games early when I usually get the most interaction, favorites and retweets. This maximizes my time and the results I get from these games. Plus I just really enjoy playing the games and reading the funny tweets from other people in the community. Another strategy I use is to ask several of my early readers to edit my novel at the same time and then maximize editing by not having to wait for each person to finish before the next person begins.
By using the three secrets – automate, outsource and streamline– I made massive progress on my novel in the last six months.
Here’s How to Apply Multi-Execution to Your Own Writing Process:
- Choose your task. I recommend choosing a task that is most time-consuming.
- Capture the clock. Examine the task and find the most time-consuming parts or steps in completing the task.
- Apply the three secrets. What can you automate? What can you outsource? Is there a strategy, or app, or any tech they can help you streamline the process and maximize efficiency? Consider Google Hangouts, Google Docs, HootSuite, etc.
Remember, multi execution is not multitasking or single tasking. It’s the best of both worlds.
List of multi-execution resources:
- Google Docs
- Google Hangout
- Virtual Assistants
- Split Testing
I‘d love to know how it works for you. Let me know in the comments below.
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