Many of us think we are the greatest multitaskers, with the ability to disrupt and finish many tasks at once. In fact, we are led to believe that multitasking is something we can accomplish especially at the rate we are going these days.
That is because the world right now demands multitaskers.
However, even though some of us are able to switch off from one task to the next, almost seamlessly, our work probably shows otherwise. And even if we are relatively organized, trying to finish off too many tasks and projects at once could harm our overall effect.
Multitasking leads to Stress and Burnout
You’ve already planned your day ahead in the morning and you seem to think you’re on the right path when another task decides to present itself to you. As eager as you are to finish what you’re currently working on, you decide to take the latter decision and get a head start on the newer low priority task.
Trying to juggle several tasks at once not only leads to lack of clear oriented focus, but also increases your body’s stress hormone. Take a step back and ask yourself how efficient your multitasking is.
If you’ve recently felt burnt out, you could be dealing with one of the many dangerous factors wreaking havoc to your performance at work, where you can’t fully commit to finishing off your assigned work.
1 ) Start each day with a clear To-do list.
Any day could be overwhelming because of the amount of work that we have to do. In fact, multitasking a great deal affects your brain efficiency as we find ourselves constantly working under pressure trying to commit to deadlines.
One of the first things you should do every morning is jot down a to-do list with all the tasks you want to accomplish that day. This is a good start to any productive day as it defines a clear path in place and helps you get organized. But, right before you jump in to finish any task, make sure you cross off projects that require immediate attention.
One simple and effective approach is the 3-5 rule, where you list out the top 3-5 tasks you’ll want to achieve and accomplish each day. This rule will help manage your life, combat procrastination, and keep you from being overwhelmed. As a matter of fact, there’s only so many hours in the day that permit you from completing more than 3-5 tasks. So, evaluate the tasks of most importance according to their deadlines and time required to complete them, and focus your energy on them. This way, you’ll have items scratched off the list at the end of each work day.
Get a move on and master the most urgent tasks out of the way first and move on to the rest. This strategy almost sounds too simple, but you’ll be surprised by how a small change can positively impact the rest of your day.
2 ) Schedule a time for breaks.
Just as completing tasks on time is highly valuable in any career, taking breaks is essential for burnout and work overload. You see, not allocating enough time to take a breather in between completing your tasks, could actually harm your creative thinking process.
This is where you sometimes find yourself producing substandard work and accomplishing very little in comparison to the effort you put in. You won’t be able to harness your creativity any longer as there’s just not enough time to think outside the box and come up with new innovative ideas. As a result, you lose your creative spark. Nobody wants to lose their creative spark!
So, schedule a time for breaks whenever you see fit. This could also challenge you to finish off the task at hand within the allocated time frame you have left. Now you can move on from multitasking and burnout overload to maximum productivity overload.
3 ) Strengthen your Management style.
Ever find your work day spiraling out of control? Multitasking cuts your time into little phases of concentration, suspended by distractions, where you eventually make dumb mistakes. As a result, your management style also spirals out of control.
In this case, many times we are bombarded by other numerous tasks to get done by our colleagues, forcing us to stop our work at hand. This actually weakens our overall memory as we’re not allocating enough time for each specific task. This is where our energy levels drop, slowing down our overall work process.
Regain control of your time by not being afraid to say no when you have to. This is the time to focus on one task at a time to produce good quality work.
4 ) Learn to prioritize.
Your brain lacks the capacity to problem solve two or more things at the same time. As a result, you will find yourself unable to think straight with the inability to focus on a particular problem, in order to provide your work with time and utmost attention possible.
Multitasking distracts you from your priorities as you juggle your thoughts in solving them. In short, you can’t achieve much with multitasking as it is most entirely not the right solution to achieve anything.
Focus on prioritizing the most important aspects of your work. Not only will this help paint the picture of where you’re heading and how, but it will effectively relieve your stress both short-term and long-term. Prioritizing your workload will result in you being less distracted as you’ll be efficiently engaged with tasks at hand.
5 ) Be mindful of your habits.
There is nothing worse than not reaching and accomplishing your goals. Even though you think you’re on the right path of productivity, your results could show otherwise.
Many times, we do things without realizing: like constantly checking our phones and checking social media sites. Once you overload and distract yourself with no gear to stop and work on things at hand, you won’t be able to get that much far ahead and flourish on the long run.
Simplify your life. Don’t over complicate yourself; set aside time to accomplish, manage, and prioritize your tasks for maximum productivity, quality, and performance.