There are many who say multitasking is a complete and utter fallacy, a lie, and that it simply does not work.
But I’m here to offer a slightly different interpretation.
Are there methods of multitasking that don’t improve productivity one bit? Absolutely. If you’ve ever tried replying to emails while on the phone with someone, you most likely concluded that in doing so, either your writing or your ability to be present in that conversation suffered greatly.
However, there is a time, a place, and a cause for multitasking – and if you know how to make it work for you, you’ll be off to the races. I hope you enjoy the following key tips for multitasking successfully and efficiently!
Tip #1: Multitasking + Distractions = Fail
Whenever doing two tasks at once, minimal distractions is a must. If you’re in a place where there’s a lot of background noise, interruptions, or phones ringing, it’s likely that you’ll end up spinning your wheels. Being able to focus on two tasks and only two tasks is what will set you up for success.
Tip #2: Combine Tasks that Require Different Types of Focus
Remember our story earlier about responding to emails while answering telephone calls? The reason this attempt at multitasking doesn’t work is that writing letters and speaking to someone are both verbal tasks, and therefore, use a common area of the brain. One fantastic way to multitask is by pairing a physical task with a mental task. Examples? Listen to a podcast on your morning walk, catch up on your phone calls while you prep meals for the week, or verbally run through your upcoming talk during your morning commute.
Tip #3: Monitor Your Level of Effectiveness
Not all combined tasks work for every person, and what works for you will be an entirely personal and unique discovery and experience. Attempting to multitask the same two tasks over and over when you end up counterproductive and frustrated every time is useless. Instead, the moment you realize that you’re stuck say out loud, “Welp, this isn’t working!” and choose a different path. Over time, and with a little trial and error, you will find what works for you.
So in conclusion, remember that there are times and places when multitasking can be your friend 🙂 And contrarily, there are times when focusing on one single task is the best thing.