Salman wakes up at the crack of dawn every day. He meditates and goes for a long walk. As part of his routine, Salman listens to music as he gets ready for work. He watches the news while eating breakfast, and listens to podcasts while driving himself to work.
Salman has figured out how to multitask while going ahead with his daily routine. Like Salman, most of us multitask all the time and it’s an inevitable part of our lives. Is multitasking good for us? Let’s find out.
What Is Multitasking?
Multitasking is the act of juggling more than one task at a time. It helps you save time and cut other costs—it’s a great way to get a lot done at once. In a nutshell, multitasking allows you to:
Perform two or more tasks simultaneously
Switch from one activity to another
Perform a number of tasks in rapid succession
What Are Multitasking Skills?
Multitasking skills refer to the ability to manage multiple responsibilities by focusing on one thing and keeping track of others. Here are some common multitasking skills that help you stay productive and efficient.
This is about knowing exactly what to complete and when to complete them. For example, you organize files in a folder and track the progress because you want to manage your time better.
This is the ability to assess your responsibilities and organize your activities in terms of urgency. In short, you complete the most important task and move on to less time-sensitive ones.
It involves creating timelines, where you plan your time and establish deadlines. You take complex situations and break them down into reasonable targets.
Examples Of Multitasking
For understanding the extent to which we multitask, let’s look at these real-life examples of multitasking:
Watching a movie on Netflix while eating your food
Talking to the passengers in your car while driving it
Responding to emails while listening to your favorite podcast
Cooking dinner and helping your children with school work
Exercising while watching the news on television
Importance Of Multitasking
Managing time and balancing multiple responsibilities helps advance professional development. Let’s look at some of the benefits of multitasking in detail.
As you complete multiple tasks concurrently, multitasking skills help you save time. For example, responding to your pending emails and texts when attending an unimportant webinar.
You’re encouraged to finish more within a shorter time frame, which boosts your productivity. The more you accomplish, the more productive you will be.
The feeling of productivity increases motivation, encouraging you to keep achieving your targets. This way you utilize your time more efficiently.
Effectively Multitasking At Work
Multitasking at work has become a norm for businesses today. Multitasking employees increase an organization’s productivity and efficiency levels—delivering more output with minimum resources. Reduced costs of hiring and training new individuals are some additional advantages of multitasking. Your ability to multitask enables you to prioritize work and successfully drive an organization’s targets. Let’s see how you can juggle responsibilities.
Have a plan in mind and set goals that are realistic and achievable. Not all tasks are compatible with each other, so pick tasks that can be worked on at the same time.
Don’t lose focus
It’s easy to lose track of multiple objectives but deal with the pressure by prioritizing. Classify tasks according to their urgency or importance.
Divide your time
Prioritization will help you determine your core responsibilities. Devote a few fixed hours of the day (for example, the first couple of hours of a workday) to finish these essential tasks.
Interruptions at the workplace are inevitable. You need to manage distractions to multitask efficiently. For example, use the conference room or a quiet corner to get work done.
The Flip Side Of Multitasking
The ability to multitask seems like an ideal solution for our fast-paced lives. However, experts suggest that it can reduce productivity by as much as 40%. Switching your focus from one thing to another causes mental blocks that slow you down. Additionally, doing different things at once can impair your cognitive abilities. Multitasking is a fine balancing act. Assess your objectives and availability of resources before you commit.
It’s especially tricky to navigate multitasking at work because finding the right balance is difficult. Harappa Education’s Practicing Excellence course will teach you how to master time management, prioritize tasks and improve productivity. The Eisenhower Matrix will help you prioritize work according to urgency and importance. The Pomodoro Technique will teach you how to avoid procrastination and concentrate on the tasks at hand. They say, “Excellence is not a skill but an attitude”. Let your attitude make the difference!
Explore topics such as Professionalism at Work, Workload Management, Time Management, the Importance of Time Management, Time Management Tips & Time Management Skills from our Harappa Diaries section and learn to multitask at work.