Zoom Zoom Zoom: The Better Way to Multitask

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I came across this article on Inc.com, “Do You Zoom?” by Terri Lonier. While it’s not a new article (it was written in 2007), it is one that piqued my interest nonetheless. I think the concept of “zooming” is a timeless one that many small business owners and freelancers could benefit from, especially if they struggle with productivity and being able to move from task to task without suffering from increased stress.

What is Zooming?

In Lonier’s article, she defines zooming as “the capacity to shift rapidly — and repeatedly — between a macro-view and a micro-view of one’s business.” Lonier’s position is that being able to refocus quickly and seamlessly helps entrepreneurs who are responsible for wearing many hats maintain the necessary speed that keeps their businesses running smoothly and efficiently. If a business owner is able to zoom successfully, they are better able to adapt to the constant daily challenges of business ownership, while increasing their productivity and accomplishing more of their major and minor tasks.

How You Can Maximize Your Zoom

I think zooming makes a fantastic alternative to more traditional ideas of multitasking that get such a bad rap, and one most of us probably already do without recognizing it as such. While multitasking typically refers to attempting to focus on more than one task at a time (which can be argued to actually make you unproductive, although I would disagree in some cases), zooming allows you to monotask, or focus on only one task at a time, but increase your ability to move quickly from one task to the next without facing a prolonged transition. If you’re interested in enhancing your zooming techniques, here are some ways you can focus on the zoom and start to eliminate the multitask mindset. Perfect Your To-Do List
Whatever your preferences, just about all of us use some sort of list to keep track of the things we need to get done. One way to set yourself up for better zooming is by having a list that works for your individual mindset, and supports your desire to move back and forth between all kinds of tasks during your day. This means your list should be broken down into small and manageable tasks. You may also find that you are able to zoom more effectively if you use a categorized and prioritized to-do list instead of one massive list that acts as your task dumping ground. Consider the Big Picture While you’ll need to spend time focusing on each individual task, don’t lose sight of the end goal. Each minor task on your list is a component of a major project, and by thinking through the full process, you can make sure your work on the minor tasks really does support the big stuff. You can do this for each minor task you tackle by looking at it in relation to the big picture, questioning the task’s place in the final result and making sure it maintains the integrity of the overall project. Be Focused in the Moment Unlike multitasking, zooming doesn’t try to force your brain to process more than one complex thought at a time. Unfortunately, our own desire to reach a high level of productivity by getting a lot done in a short period of time may work against us here. As you move from task to task, focus on the one thing you are working on and push all competing thoughts and distractions aside. Of course, this is easier said than done, but if you’re able to be completely focused on that one task in the moment you are doing it, you’re on your way to highly efficient zooming. Do you zoom? Do you think it may be more productive than multitasking? Image credit: Ariel da Silva Parreira

Frequently Asked Questions about Zooming and Multitasking

What is the concept of zooming in the context of productivity and multitasking?

Zooming, in the context of productivity and multitasking, refers to the ability to focus intensely on a single task or project at a time. It’s about narrowing your attention to one thing and eliminating distractions. This concept is based on the idea that our brains are more efficient when we concentrate on one task at a time, rather than trying to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously.

How does zooming compare to multitasking in terms of productivity?

While multitasking may seem like a more efficient way to get things done, research has shown that it can actually reduce productivity by as much as 40%. This is because our brains are not designed to handle multiple tasks at once. On the other hand, zooming allows you to focus all your mental energy on one task, leading to increased productivity and better quality of work.

What are some strategies for effective zooming?

Effective zooming requires discipline and practice. Some strategies include setting specific goals for each task, eliminating distractions, taking regular breaks to rest your mind, and using tools and techniques such as time blocking or the Pomodoro Technique to manage your time effectively.

How can zooming improve my work-life balance?

By focusing on one task at a time, you can complete your work more efficiently and effectively, leaving more time for rest and relaxation. Zooming can also reduce stress and improve mental health by preventing the feeling of being overwhelmed by too many tasks.

Can zooming be applied to all types of work?

While zooming can be beneficial for many types of work, it may not be suitable for all. Jobs that require constant multitasking or rapid switching between tasks may not benefit from zooming. However, even in these cases, taking time to focus on one task at a time can still improve productivity and reduce errors.

What are the potential drawbacks of zooming?

One potential drawback of zooming is that it can lead to tunnel vision, where you become so focused on one task that you neglect other important tasks or miss new opportunities. To avoid this, it’s important to regularly review your priorities and adjust your focus as needed.

How does zooming relate to mindfulness?

Zooming is a form of mindfulness in that it involves being fully present and engaged in the task at hand. By focusing your attention on one task, you can achieve a state of flow, where you are fully immersed in your work and lose track of time.

Can zooming help with learning and memory?

Yes, research has shown that focusing on one task at a time can improve learning and memory. This is because when we multitask, our attention is divided, making it harder to process and retain information.

How can I practice zooming in my daily life?

Start by identifying tasks or activities where you can apply zooming, such as reading a book, studying, or working on a project. Set a specific goal for the task and eliminate distractions. Practice focusing on the task for a set amount of time, and gradually increase this time as your ability to focus improves.

Are there any tools or apps that can help with zooming?

Yes, there are many tools and apps that can help with zooming. These include time management apps, distraction blockers, and productivity tools that allow you to set goals and track your progress. Some popular options include Focus@Will, RescueTime, and Freedom.

Alyssa GregoryAlyssa Gregory
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Alyssa Gregory is a digital and content marketer, small business consultant, and the founder of the Small Business Bonfire — a social, educational and collaborative community for entrepreneurs.

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