Multitasking is a skill that is demanded in every facet of life. Are you a student? You will need to multitask with your education and all of your extracurriculars. If you’re a parent, you will be forced to tend to a million things at once. And if you’re working in a professional environment, it goes without saying, you are required to take care of xyz while doing abc.
Now, this can get quite overwhelming very quickly if you don’t know how to handle it properly. But with certain pointers and some tools, you can really make it work for you and boost your productivity. So, the following are some tips to efficiently multitask (particularly in a professional environment).
Know the agenda
You MUST start your day knowing what you want to get done. It’s alright if something new crops up in the middle of the day. But it’s your responsibility to know your tasks for the day. This is done so you don’t end up with too much on your plate. Though the goal is to multi-task, it doesn’t make sense to do more than three things at once. And it’s preferable if your to-do is made in a place you’ll see often. This will keep you accountable to yourself.
Group your tasks
Once you’ve made the above list, you now need to group the tasks. Doing two completely unrelated tasks will have you wasting a lot of time. At the end of the day, your results will not meet the objectives you set yourself for. So, if there are two things that will require a similar process, group the two together. It simply makes more sense to go about your day like that!
When you’re tackling many things at once, you will be naturally inclined to lose track. To keep yourself organized, it is very important to keep a log of all that you’ve done. You must be strict with your logs. If you’re going to ask me for a format, there isn’t one. But you should be able to decipher it with one look. This is especially important if you need that information to present to a higher-up.
Get the right tools
There is no lack of tools available these days that are targeted to help you multitask. So, take advantage of these. My favorite of the bunch is Clariti. This is a web app that brings you the power of multiple tools into one place. The best feature – called Topic Threads organizes your conversations, emails and to-dos automatically with the power of AI. So, with an ordered and streamlined interface, you have more time to concentrate on the tasks at that matter.
This app also has an integrated chat and email system. This means you won’t have to waste time forwarding emails or switching between multiple apps to do one process. Since you’ll be viewing everything in threads, it also becomes easier to move from one task to the next without the whole ordeal of switching apps.
Give yourself achievable tasks
This is a no-brainer. It makes no sense to set yourself 10 objectives if you know you can only get 6 done. Though aiming high is a good thing, going from 6 to 10 should be a process, not a leap. If you don’t get through your goals for the day, mentally, it will weigh on you. Two things will happen – you’ll go into the next day thinking you have a backlog, which will hamper your productivity. Also, not being able to meet your standards will impact your self-confidence. So ALWAYS give yourself reachable targets.
Focus Focus Focus
The attention span of an average human is not very long. Only 8.25 seconds! That’s probably why we prefer to multitask in the first place. So, it is even more important to cut-off easy sources of distraction. Having a concentrated 30 minutes will take you way further than an unfocused 1 hour, making you reach productivity peaks!
We are human after all and being praised or rewarded for a job well done is definitely a stimulating factor. And that praise doesn’t always need to come from a superior. So, when you do check something off your list, give yourself a small reward. A 10-minute break perhaps? Or indulge in your favorite treat! It does not have to be big, only make you feel good.
Once you get the process that works for you down, multitasking will never be a challenge for you again.