The following is a guest post by Robine Fisher, who is clearly a fan of multitasking. Robine graduated with a degree in International Studies and a minor in Journalism. She starts every productive day with a nice cup of coffee. You can read more from Robine on Google+.
Experts have long said that multitasking decreases one’s productivity. But no matter how many research results they release, individuals can’t stop doing it. However, if you can’t give up multitasking then you need to be so incredibly good at it that you end up being as productive as anyone.
If you can’t do things one at a time, train yourself to be a genius in doing multiple things at the same time. You probably won’t master the technique in an instant, but as long as you learn from your mistakes and experiences, you can improve your habits along the way.
Here are some of the ways you can pave your way to being a multitasking genius:
- Make a list of everything you need to accomplish. Don’t make the mistake of leaving out a crucial task simply because you forgot. Before you work on multiple projects, list everything you need to do, even down to the most menial tasks. Place them under “general activities” or something similar. This way you won’t miss anything. It’s best to have a single notebook to track all your activities since one look at it will remind you of everything you have to do. Once you’re done with one activity, cross it out so you won’t confuse it with other tasks.
- Plan your multitasking. Sometimes, multitasking is actually better than doing one task at a time. For example, a trip to the library can be more productive if you do your research for multiple papers at the same time. Students are often required to write multiple papers, and a single trip to the library is a lot more productive if they research all the topics simultaneously. So instead of just going there to research for a single essay they can work out their topics for all papers first so they can start they research. It’s best to group similar tasks together. Even though you’re multitasking, there’s still a spirit of organization in your method.
- Master The Pomodoro Technique. One of the reasons people multitask is because they can’t handle doing a single task for a long period of time. With The Pomodoro Technique, you take a five minute break in between 25 minutes of working. You can use it to multitask by doing one task for the first 25 minutes and then another task during the next 25 minute cycle (or pomodoro). For example, you read and answer e-mails for the first 25 minutes and then after the five minute break, you start doing other work. That way time is divided equally for each task.
- Allot proper divisions of tasks. Multitasking can be unproductive if you end up ruining the flow of your work. When writing a report, don’t stop in the middle of organizing your data to do something else. Instead, finish organizing your data first before calling clients and answering to emails. After that you can start your report. Don’t break your train of thought by stopping mid-stream because it’s harder to get back on track if you do that. Finish your existing task before diverting your attention somewhere else.
- Employ the help of time management apps. Don’t torture yourself by struggling alone. Download productivity apps on your phone and computer to track your progress. Remember the Milk is a good app to create to-do lists. No task will be left unnoticed with it. Pomodoro.me can help you master The Pomodoro Technique. There are tons of time management applications, so choose the ones that will work best for you.
Multitasking has a bad rep, but you can turn things around. Be so incredibly good at it that you’ll end up debunking all research stating its ineffectiveness, and stake your claim as a multitasking genius.
Photo credit: sufinawaz via SXC.HU
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