I know, I know, we have all heard or read that multitasking is bad and that we will get much more done when we focus on completing one task at a time. And after seeing the data from time management and productivity studies, I have been a reformed multitasker for about 9 years. However, I have found that some activities, like fine wine and food, go well together.

Cleaning House + DVR Catch Up

Ok, so I first have to admit that TV watching is one of my guilty pleasures/vises/thing my husband says I do too much of, so I have worked hard to find ways for it not to be a total time waste, but this one really does work!

Since we have TV’s in almost all rooms of our house (terrible, I know ) I will gather up my cleaning supplies, fire up the DVR in one room, clean it while watching one of my recorded shows, then move on to the next room and show. Don’t forget to take the vacuum with you and vacuum during commercials.

While I could clean a bit faster if I did not have the TV on, I definitely save time verses doing each activity separately.

Exercise + Work

After moving from a field job into the corporate office, I found that I was really missing the exercise I had been getting from being out and about, so I decided to challenge myself to skip the communal lunch at the deli and instead bring my lunch and quickly eat at my desk and then spend the rest of the lunch hour walking for at least one day a week.

I came back to my work so refreshed that I then made a goal to do that at least 3 days a week, knowing that at least 2 of the days I would get interrupted or would not be able to take a full hour. I felt so good that after a while I started to invite a colleague and got some networking in too!

Luckily, I was in a large office complex with 5 buildings attached, so if the weather was not good enough to walk outside, I could walk inside from one end of the complex to the other.

Quality Time + Netflix + Exercise

Instead of just zoning out in front of the TV at night, my hubby and I made an agreement that we would pick a series on Netflix that we both liked and would get up and go down to our basement (where the treadmill and exercise bike are) and watch TV and work out together.

It became quality time in that inevitably as we set up or finished, we would end up taking extra time to talk about the day’s events or upcoming events and feel more “on the same page” after our time together.

Grocery Shopping + Exercise

I have a grocery store that is two miles from my house, so as a way to both get more exercise and try to reduce my carbon footprint, I challenged myself to either walk or bike there for my smaller “fill in” grocery trips.

I use a packable tote bag that easily clips on my belt or fits in my pocket on the way there and I had a removable basket put on my bike that pops off and I just take into the store.

Another twist on this is for snacking, I have eliminated sugary snacks from my pantry and have made it so that if I really want to have a sugary snack, I have to walk to get it from the nearest convenience store that is about a mile round trip, so at least I am burning some calories while snacking.

Organizing + TV Watching

I couldn’t leave this one out! I got inspiration for this one from reading Regina Leeds’ book The 8-Minute Organizer, where she talks about using small blocks of time to get your home organized. I have organized photos, purged old paperwork from my files, and sorted through drawers, the options for this one are endless.

Task Pairings and Productivity

Now admittedly, all of the tasks in these “Pairings” are lower level tasks that do not require a lot of focus or brain power for most people. For higher level tasks, for work, for true quality time with loved ones, I stick with the experts and do my best to do one thing at a time.

Please let me know if you have task pairings of your own that you have found work for you.

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