I hate to say it, but Gossip Girl is one of my several guilty pleasures. I read the books in high school and ever since then, I have had a love for the characters and the fashion. Blair Waldorf, played by beautiful Leighton Meester, is a self-driven young woman who will do anything for what she wants. Her strong personality can be often be too much to handle and her manipulative tactics are way too good for comfort. However, I admire her work ethics and the fact that she will NEVER let anything stand her way. In this past season, when Blair Waldorf landed her dream job at fashion magazine W, I felt like the show was trying to give a hint to all the young woman working very hard at their jobs: Work Smarter, Not Harder!
In the episode cleverly named, While You Wern’t Sleeping, Blair is very enthusiatic to start her new internship at W. She states multiple times to other character’s of the show, “I won’t sleep!” Her theory: the less sleep you get, the more productive and successful you will be. Throughout the episode she is seen doing multiple tasks at once, which many employers indicate they want to hire a great multitasker, but is no sleep and multitasking really the two keys to success??? Lets find out…
1. The Truth Behind Multitasking
Peter Bregman, CEO of Bregman Partners, INC, blogs in the Harvard Business Review, about how he sent out an email without the attachment. His excuse was he was doing two things at once. It is because when we multitask, our productivity goes down 40% leaving us only to focus on one thing more so than the other. He calls it “switching-tasks” rather than multitasking.
Shannon’s Advice: Bottom line, there are times when it is okay to multitask, but certain tasks such as sending an email, call for 100% of your attention. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have sent out an email without an attachment just like Mr. Bregman and it can be embarrassing. The best thing to do, is write a list of things you need to do and put them in order of priority. Then do each task separtely. You will be surprised of how much more you get done within a shorter period of time, plus there will less mistakes guaranteed!
Extra Advice: Check out this article about managing your multitasking habits!
2. The Truth Behind a Lack of Sleep
Blair Waldorf mistakenly switches important memos and it ends causing a lot of problems. Dan Humphrey, played by Penn Badgley, recommends she gets more sleep since she made such a careless mistake. He’s right! Sleep causes you to make more mistakes and not register information as fast. The one thing I learned from being in college is I am better off getting a good night sleep than staying up til 3am studying. Statistics show that a lack of sleep “dumbs you down” and slowers your cognitive process. Also it can lead to more serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. It can even lead to a slower sex drive.
Shannon’s Advice: If your work/school schedule is packed and it doesn’t seem like there is no time for sleep. Try to take a 20-minute nap or exercise in the morning or afternoon. If you get the 2 o’clock blues, try to eat a healthy light snack. It may give you the boost you need to finish everything before the day ends.
Extra Advice: Check out the latest feature from Real Simple mag about energizing your life!