Multitasking is a GREAT tool if you know how to use it. People often look at doing multiple things at once as ineffective, but they may be multitasking the wrong tasks and in turn, having the opposite effect. Here are seven tricks that can help you better understand and better perform tasks, simultaneously!
1. Start With the Hardest Task
The term “Eat that Frog” by Brian Tracy, 100% illustrates that doing the hardest task or the task you likely will procrastinate on the MOST, FIRST. When you get the most daunting task out of the way at the beginning of the day, you won’t have it hanging over your head. In addition to that, the rest of the tasks on your list will seem like a breeze after the hardest one is complete.
2. Choose Your Multitask Wisely
Multitasking can actually be very useful if you pair two tasks together that CAN be done at the same time. The idea is to take on a task that requires hardly ANY thought, with another task that can also be done with little concentration. For example: listening to an audiobook while driving. This is a great way to learn/read (audibly) while in the car having to focus on where you’re headed.
3. Practice How to Multitask
If you aren’t typically a great “multitasker”, the good news is- you can get better! The more you do it, the better you will get. Think about the things you do now that are so routine you don’t really have to think about them anymore. Your brain goes into “auto-pilot” and you could basically perform that task in your sleep. Start by pairing tasks that each require no concentration, together. Then add on a task that takes a little bit more concentration. Keep adding as you get better at it and before you know it you’ll be a pro!
4. Set Priorities with Proper Management
One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to multitask with SUPER important or EXTREME concentration. Going from one big task to another can not only confuse you, but it can also lead to making mistakes or burning you out. So if you have some rather important things on your list, you will be much more efficient if you focus on THESE tasks one at a time. When they are done you can move on to the other not-so-focused tasks.
5. Jump Between Multitasking and Single Tasking
Along with performing important tasks solo, it’s also good to sprinkle single tasks IN your day of multitasking. If you are constantly trying to do multiple things at once ALL day, you are less likely to be productive than if you take a break for ONE single task in between. Doing this will help replenish your brain, and even the smallest adjustments like these make the biggest difference.
6. Use Tools to improve Your Multitasking
ANYTHING that you can jot down somewhere – do it and get it OUT of your brain! There is no point in leaving things to memory when you have tools that you can lean on. Set reminders in your phone or on your computer for important things you need to remember, so you have more brain-space for OTHER things! It will help you stay on top of your schedule without driving yourself nuts trying to remember everything and then you can get MORE done.
7. Take a Break
Do you work through your lunch? Although sometimes this is necessary if you are behind on work, you would be MORE beneficial if you stayed a few minutes late or came in a little bit earlier than skipping your lunch break. Taking those breaks- ESPECIALLY your lunch hour is crucial for your brain. It allows you to reboot, relax and clear your head. People who take breaks throughout their day are actually HIGHER performers. So don’t feel like you have to skip these to be productive. It’s quite the opposite.
We all want to get MORE done in less time. And doing multiple things at once is just a way of life. Learning how to efficiently do this, will not only yield greater productivity but also reduce stress and increase performance. If you are starting to feel overwhelmed, self-check with these tips and become a GREAT “multitasker”!