When you think of “multitask”, do you envision yourself worn down, or maybe just not getting anything productive done because you are doing a little of everything halfway? This is a common view of the particular word, and for good reason. In the fast-paced world we live in today, it’s a miracle if we only have one or two tasks to finish a day. Therefore, the tactic of multitasking has become a fundamental skill in our lifestyles utilized by everyone, regardless of the position or management. Though everyone’s work habits may differ, there’s certainly an adequate style of art to effectively multitasking.
Just trying to do all your workload at once can be undeniably counter-productive…unless you know how to do it, despite the general consensus. Here are five multitasking tips for better productivity that will help you juggle more than five tasks altogether.
Divide Your Work into Small Chunks of Time
Not everyone realizes that productivity actually increases when you work on one type of work for short periods of time instead of a long, extended length. Start out with setting a timer for a reasonable period to get one task done, and dedicate yourself completely to it for that certain duration. When your time is up, immediately switch to your next task and set your timer again. Continue alternating between all your tasks within one, full-on concentrated sitting. With this tactic, it will cease the “burnout” feeling you get every time when spending endless hours on one assignment, while keeping your mind fresh and clear, since you won’t lose sight of everything else anymore.
Ensure to Prioritize
….and don’t forget to be realistic. Each day, begin with a list of the things you have to accomplish. You’re in the clear if you end up with the important tasks finished first and the less important ones still waiting (but partly done – definitely not ignored) to be completed. For those tasks that didn’t get settled yet, confirm that they have a place on the top of tomorrow’s task list, and make sure to actually get them done on that day.
Take Productive Breaks
“Taking breaks is useless!”
…said no successful person ever.
Breaks are an absolutely necessary part of working in the high velocity lifestyle, as long as you go back to your tasks immediately. Okay, it’s normal to be feeling like you’re slacking off at first. However, taking some time to pry your eyes off from the computer and away from your desk for awhile is not only obligatory to a healthy well-being, but also a great way to re-energize for the next round of workload. According to the productivity experts, one should take a break every 50-90 minutes for about 15-20 minutes, since the average person’s attention span is really short. For instance, take about ten to twenty minutes to go for a quick walk, watch a YouTube video or two, listen to some music, or just have a water break. Ideally, this advice will cut down the stress factor, which is essential for your dynamic welfare. Although rather than obsessing about keeping to the ideal length, find your own rhythm and stick to it.
Productive multitasking really comes down to toggling, and how successfully you execute it. It’s best to toggle between two tasks, (three if you must) but only if you’re positive you can do so efficiently. In spite of that, the odds are when trying to write an email, talk on the phone, and draw up a research report, you’re bound to make mistakes somewhere in the line. By just toggling between two tasks, you’re trying to save time while still avoiding mess-ups. So do one task and then the other – even if you don’t finish the first one before moving on to the second and the third. Remember, you can always come back to the first task. Use your time effectively as well – procrastinating would just make matters worse.
Time Management Is Key
Time is money, people. You can organize and prioritize all you want, but in the end, unless you incorporate time management into everything, all the previously given tips will become totally useless. Once you have your list of tasks set up and prearranged, you need to make a clear deadline. After that, estimate the approximate time each task you think should take you. For the less important ordeals, confine yourself – don’t spend more than a certain amount of time on catching up with minor personal affairs if you know you have more important things to do on hand.
Ultimately, multitasking is not for everyone. However, when these tips are applied regularly to your everyday lives, they will make a significant difference in how you relate to those you connect with, as well as how well you pull off your tasks. After some time, you will find yourself absorbing far more with each duty than if you tried to lump them in the same old way as before.
– Ashley Kim (’18)