Through Computer User, Wikipedia defines Multitasking as:
‘The apparent performance by an individual of handling more than one task at the same time. The term is derived from computer multitasking. An example of multitasking is taking phone calls while typing an email.’
Why do we multitask?
Today, it’s common that we see ‘great at multitasking’ on most resumes. We all multitask, and it takes a conscious effort to minimize how often we allow this to occur. Some of us feel it boosts our performance. Some feel it’s the only way to get caught up. In the end, productivity is lost as we have trouble organizing our thoughts while never being in a ‘zone.’ Being in a ‘zone’ is what gets the tasks and milestones complete on time.
Ready to decrease your stress level?
Stop multitasking, pretty simple right? For me, this was not so easy. I used to keep my email open all day in order to quickly respond to client requests. I’ve learned to schedule time throughout the day for task like this. Any downtime in a meeting, I would jump on email or focus on another task/project. I realized a few things: Fire drills typically are delivered by a phone call, not email. I also mastered the art of one dragon at a time. It’s about following processes. Some days are better than others, but it’s working.
Now, lets talk about efficiencies and making mistakes.
You guessed it, with multitasking; you become slower with all the switching from one task to another. Not to mention errors go up during this process. Experts say switching between tasks can cause a 40% loss in productivity. Think about it, 40%. Crazy, right?
A few solutions to ending the madness:
- Do everything in batches.
- Set up separate to-do lists.
- Organize the day and plan the day in blocks – our team begins each day with a meeting covering our daily calendars.
- Minimize distractions – make it known you cannot be interrupted. They’ll quickly catch on.
- Turn off distractions – chat, IM, phone, email, close that office door.
- A clean workspace – a messy desk is a multitasks dream. Keep it clean.
Is our team perfect?
No. We’re efficient and aware of making the most of our productivity. This allows us to deliver only our best work in a timely order. Drink the Kool aid, make the change and make the most of your day. Thanks for reading.