We all think multitasking is necessary to achieve great career results and have a balanced life. This might be true for many people, but multitasking without direction can actually do the opposite of what is expected—kill your productivity and bring you subpar results. So how can you multitask in a way that will benefit you?
Set realistic goals
No matter how enthusiastic you are about working or studying, it’s crucial to remember that your day has 24 hours, and this is not negotiable. Also, you probably have a limited budget and resources. Finally, and probably most importantly, you have your own private life and personality to respect. Long story short, make a realistic plan for your multitasking abilities because you have real limits to work with.
It’s always possible to expand your abilities using technology, but you’re still truly capable of managing and completing a limited number of tasks and projects. With realistic goals in place, you’ll get to finish your tasks in time and tick off tasks like a pro—this is probably the most satisfying thing about multitasking.
Create a to-do list
Any good multitasker needs a fool-proof list of tasks. The secret behind every good to-do list is knowing the difference between tasks. Tasks can be divided into two main categories—urgent, those with tight deadlines, and important, those with long-term consequences. It’s crucial to prioritize tasks in the following way:
Important and urgent
Important but not urgent
Not important but urgent
Not important and not urgent
This division is called Eisenhower’s Principle and can be great for everyone who wants to improve their multitasking skills. As you can see, according to this principle, the most important thing to focus on is the importance of the task. To create a better balance between your tasks, you can use levels 3 and 4 to take a rest from important issues and give your brain a nice break.
Use your smartphone to your advantage
For most people, their phones are a huge source of distraction because they don’t know how to use this priceless tool properly. Quality gadgets like Samsung Galaxy phones have a great capacity to support many open tabs and started tasks. With a gadget like this in your pocket, you can use various online tools and apps for project management, allowing you to have all your projects, communications, and tasks at hand’s reach. Best phones are fast and sleek, allowing you to save time and manage all the items quickly. And when you get too distracted by all the amazing features your phone offers, you can simply employ an app that locks distractions like social media, games, and chat features so you can stay focused.
Multitask the right tasks
It’s not realistic to expect to multitask two or three new tasks. Always choose those tasks you’re familiar with. Leaning a new activity or performing delicate operations requires your full focus every time!
For the best multitasking results, it’s crucial to group tasks into different categories so switching assignments is quick and smooth. Give each group of assignments its separate block of time, with a nice break in between. To divide your time and remind yourself to take breaks, use the famous Pomodoro Technique. This technique involves working in 25-minute blocks, with a 5-minute break in between. After every four blocks, you get a longer break that allows you to rehydrate, stretch your legs and restart your brain.
People who think they can’t multitask need to know that, most likely, they are already multitasking. If you have to deal with notifications, chatty colleagues, and clients who interrupt you—that’s multitasking. Some people seem to work better with background noise, while others prefer to work in silence. To see which one best suits your focus, try to manage your environment the best you can. For instance, do some experimentation by trying to listen to music while you work. If this makes your multitasking easier, incorporate it into your workday. If not, try to minimize noise by wearing noise-cancelling headphones.
Learn to delegate
Delegating tasks to other people and monitoring their progress is also a crucial part of multitasking. Share tasks with other team members whenever possible instead of taking all obligations to yourself. If you’re a boss, manager, or team leader, your colleagues and employees will respect you more when you trust them with tasks and only use your time to check their progress. Micromanaging is not a good look on anyone. This multitasking skill will relieve stress and allow you to dedicate more time to the top two elements on your to-do list—your important and urgent tasks.
Multitasking can be a great addition to your workday if you follow the mentioned tips. If you do it right, you can be much more productive and have much more time to dedicate to your personal life, hobbies, and relationships outside the office.