How to Multitask like a Pro

2016-12-01T19:13:53+00:00May 1st, 2015|Productivity|

These days, it’s a miracle if we only have two or three tasks to work on in a day. Multitasking has becoming an essential skill in the workplace, regardless of your industry or position. In addition to managing more than one large project at one time, we often find ourselves somehow working on two or even three tasks in one sitting. Though everyone’s work habits are different, I’ve found that there’s a bit of an art to effectively multitasking. Here are a few tips:

Plan ahead…

…and be realistic. Make a prioritized list of the tasks you want to work on in a given day, then figure out how to split up each project into manageable amounts. Note: your list shouldn’t be all the tasks you need to work on. Be honest with yourself and consider how much time and energy you can reasonably dedicate in a day. Significant headway on two projects is worth more than marginal progress on five.

Work in small chunks of time

Not many people know that productivity increases when you work on one project for short bursts of time instead of for an extended period. Set a timer for what you think is a reasonable time to get something done on a certain assignment, and dedicate yourself completely to it. When your timer rings, change over to something else and set your timer again. Alternate between two or three tasks within a given sitting. This will prevent the “burnt out” feeling you get when spending hours and hours on one thing, plus it keeps your mind fresh since you’re not losing sight of everything else.

Take productive breaks

And take them often. Breaks are an extremely important part of working productively. Even though you may feel like you’re slacking off at first, taking some time to step away from your desk and walk around your office is not only imperative to a healthy mind, but also a wonderful and effective way to recharge. Take ten minutes to watch a YouTube video, listen to some music, freshen your water or go for a quick walk. Leaving your desk every once in awhile is critical to your wellbeing!

What’s your golden method for multitasking? Let me know on Twitter @myturnstone or @officestylist.