‘Multipliers’ are key to rethinking time

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‘Multipliers’ are key to rethinking time

Sixth Voice & Influence module urges viewers to think beyond multitasking

by Lily Bixler Clausen on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 3:22pm

image of people runningWhat’s your number one challenge? For most people, the answer to this question is that they don’t have enough time. They have too many goals and not enough time to do them.

“We have multiple parts of ourselves and... each are associated with different goals,”  Stanford Professor of Marketing Jennifer Aaker says in the newly released Rethinking Time video module. “The problem is sometimes these goals start to compete with each other. And when you have limited time and resources the question becomes, can you reframe time such that you can achieve multiple goals at the same time?

Aaker contends that you can. With a background in researching the intersection of time, happiness, and money, she offers a new solution: Aaker urges us to rethink time. Instead of relying on multitasking, where multiple tasks are done at the same time and you’re less present, she calls for “Multipliers.”

A Multiplier is one activity that fulfills several goals. If fitness and bonding with a family member are important to you, combine these goals by going for a hike with your sister. You can take things a step further. If you need to discuss plans for the family business, make the Multiplier a triple by discussing business objectives with your sister while hiking.

“It started simply: go on a walk with my spouse and talk a little bit about work,” Clayman Institute Advisory Committee member and Forshay founder Sally Thornton says in the Rethinking Time module. “I kept thinking how I could continue to combine ideas together that make more goals achievable versus the idea I had before of multitasking which made me feel very divided.”

The Clayman Institute for Gender Research, in partnership with Leanin.org, went live with its sixth video November 20. The modules are part of Clayman’s growing Voice & Influence program, which uses video to translate academic research into accessible terms and present clear actions so that viewers can implement change that very day.

Each faculty presenter distilled her research — what can often stretch to a ten-week course or three-hour lecture — into a short format. Each video is paired with discussion guide materials for a facilitated conversation. Viewers can access these guides individually or in groups, such as corporate Women’s Initiative Networks, alumnae associations, or Lean In Circles.

Once you identify Multipliers and you bring friends and family onboard, you should protect these activities in your calendar, says Aaker. And before you say yes to any activity, she urges you to ask yourself if you can make it double, a triple, or even a home run.

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Other Voice & Influence Modules

“Power & Influence” with Stanford GSB Professor Deborah Gruenfeld: There is a body language of power, and learning how to choose the appropriate body language for particular situations can strengthen a woman’s leadership and enable her to succeed in a variety of contexts.

“Negotiation” with Stanford GSB Professor Margaret Neale: Women tend to feel less comfortable than men asking for what they want because prescriptions of niceness seem at odds with negotiation. Neale instructs women how to achieve positive outcomes through the communal approach of problem solving.

“Harnessing the Power of Stories” with Stanford GSB Professor Jennifer Aaker: Since stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone, Aaker challenges women to take the time to tell signature story to move the audience to action.

“Creating a Level Playing Field” with Stanford Sociology Professor Shelley Correll: Bias leads to errors in decision-making that can hinder women’s advancement. Correll explains how bias works in organizations and what individuals and companies can do to limit—and even eliminate—the effects of bias.

“Team Dynamics” with University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Professor, Melissa Thomas-Hunt: While certain dynamics can undermine team performance, Thomas-Hunt offers solutions for ensuring that all the expertise is heard and considered in critical team decision-making.

Jennifer Aaker
General Atlantic Professor of Marketing

Jennifer Aaker is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Her research spans time, money and happiness. She co-authored the award-winning book, “The Dragonfly Effect: Quick Effective Powerful Ways to Harness Social Media for Impact.” A recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, Citibank Best Teacher Award, and George Robbins Best Teacher Award, she teaches courses like Social Brands, Designing Happiness, and How to Tell a Story. Aaker received her PhD in Marketing, PhD Minor in Psychology, from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  She earned her BA in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Lily B. Clausen
Gender News Editor

Lily B. Clausen got her start as a reporter at the Half Moon Bay Review, covering virtually everything that impacts the sprinkling of coastal communities in San Mateo County and most recently she worked as a news producer at The Seattle TimesWith roots in the feminist press, Lily joined the Clayman Institute more than two years ago on a part-time basis, writing for Gender News and working to boost the institute's media presence.