You’re on the phone with a client and at the same time you quietly typing email to another client. As soon as you hang up, a colleague sends you an instant message, which you read over while dialling your manager’s extension number. Then during your phone conversation with her, you start doing your client’s proposal.
Our perception of multitasking is to boost our productivity especially we are in a country where the pace of life is fast and hectic. People who can multitask are typically seen as efficient an effective .After all, don’t we get more tasks done at one time than doing one task at a time?
Come to think about it, multi-tasking doesn’t make us as productive as we think. It will increase our anxiety and stress level for messing up our tasks. In fact, it’s likely that the quality of our work will be affected and cost us time to re-create it.
8 tips to kick away multi-tasking habit
- Plan your day in blocks. Set specific times for returning calls, answering emails, and doing research.
- Manage your interruptions. Keep a log on those who interrupts you the most and how urgent the requests are.
- Learn how to improve your concentration so you can focus properly on one task at a time. You’ll be surprised at how much you get done just by concentrating on one thing at a time.
- Every time you go to check your email or take a call when you’re actually supposed to be doing something else, take a deep breath and resist the urge. Focus your attention back to what you’re supposed to be doing.
- If you get an audible or visual alert when emails come in, turn it off. This can help you avoid the temptation to check your inbox whenever you get new mail.
- Whenever you find yourself multitasking, stop. Take five minutes to sit quietly at your desk with your eyes closed. Even short breaks like this can refocus your mind, lower your stress levels, and improve your concentration. Plus it can give your brain a welcome break during a hectic day.
- There will be times when something urgent comes up and you can’t avoid interruptions. But instead of trying to multitask through these, stop and make a note of where you left your current task. Record any thoughts you had about how to move forward. Then deal with the immediate problem, before going back to what you were doing. This way you’ll be able to handle both tasks well, and you’ll leave yourself with some clues to help you restart the original task more quickly.
- If you find your mind wandering when you should be focusing on something else, you need to guide your thoughts back to what you are doing by putting yourself in the moment. For example, you might be sitting in an important team meeting, but thinking about a speech you’ll be giving soon. Tell yourself, “I am in this meeting, and need to focus on what I’m learning here.” Often, acknowledging the moment can help keep you focused.
Many of us think that multitasking is the best way to get through the demands of our working day. This is a myth! The reality is that multitasking lowers the quality of our work, reduces our ability to focus, and can actually cost us time.
Have you plan your day yet?
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