I seem to regularly find myself doing a balancing act between deep work and multitasking. On the one hand, when I'm doing a deep work session, I get a form of satisfaction knowing that I was able to concentrate on one thing for several hours, uninterrupted, and I have the feeling that I made real progress on the project I was working on. But on the other hand, my mind feels frustrated that the day has gone by so fast and that I haven't made any progress on all the other things I've been meaning to do. In short, I feel like I've been productive, but also that I haven't been efficient. Or vice-versa. It's all a question of viewpoint.
So the question that begs to be answered seems to be: is there a way to conciliate both multitasking and productivity?
Part of the answer involves splitting up whatever work you've been meaning to do into smaller, achievable tasks. This is nothing new. Going atomic is now a well known and widely accepted productivity hack. Hence the appearance of so many atomic to-do tools and processes like chunking: split up any task into smaller, quickly achievable tasks and move down the list.
More importantly, you need to make sure that you finish up whatever you've been working on. For obvious reasons, finishing up is a very relative concept. For some mundane or smaller administrative tasks, finishing up is obvious. But our concern here is with larger projects. Finishing up a task is actually key to being productive while multitasking. Chunking works, but requires organisational commitment and accountability.
I'll go into details of how I believe this can be best achieved in an upcoming post.