I recently came across an article titled “Multitasking is a scam” and it went further to explain how people achieve much lesser than they would when they multitask than when they focus on one particular chore till it is done.
In this competitive world, where superwoman status can only be attained by how many things one is juggling at once, employers are many times guilty of transferring this expectation on to their domestic staff. You think the best way to prove your maid’s intelligence and prowess is to see how many things she can touch on during the day. This is how the scenario usually plays out. You outline her chores for the day, and get her commitment to do it. However, you call multiples times during the day while you are away, giving her other tasks to take up in addition to what she is doing. Sometimes, even prompting her to abandon some and focus on what she was called for.
Your rationale being that the things you are asking her to do over the phone are minor things that you think shouldn’t take so much time. However, research has shown that once a task is abandoned for another, it is most likely going to be left uncompleted or finished shabbily. Tasks that are left uncompleted, then goes on to multiply and sometimes may spiral out of control.
For example, if while your domestic staff is sweeping the floor, she abandons it midway at your prompting to change your infant’s diapers, without sweeping the dirt together and packing it, there is every likelihood another person, probably a child passes by the dirt without treading carefully and scatters it all over the place. From changing diapers, she then goes on to feed and put the baby to sleep. If everything she did has taken one hour, by the time she gets back to the chore, she is disappointed by what she sees on the floor and her primary focus immediately shifts from what it was before your prompted her, which is “sweep the floor excellently well” to “I just need to complete my sweeping”. So she probably is now only working towards removing visible dirt not deep sweeping thoroughly.
Multitasking is too large a burden to bear for a domestic staff who hasn’t gained experience in proper organization and planning; which is a statistic most DS today will fall into. So if your domestic staff is overwhelmed at the end of each day, yet accomplishes very little, she has most likely been riddled with too many tasks.
So how can an employer ensure that her domestic staff is not a victim of multitasking.
- Employers need to be disciplined in the apportioning of tasks. If you can afford to send somebody else on that errand, do it. It doesn’t have to be your maid.
- The multitasking may originate from your maid because she wants to be seen as accomplishing a lot. Encourage her to focus on doing one task at a time and execute it excellently well.
- Create a work schedule. This is a well planned document that ensures every chore is touched during the course of the week. Because of this, there is less likelihood for a chore to show up as an emergency. It also disciplines maid and employer and can be used to measure success of the day.
Do you think your domestic staff might need a schedule? Click HERE to see reasons why a MAIDforME chore schedule will work for you.