Many of us face problems at work as we often fail to meet the deadlines or panic when we have too much work on our hands. Yet there are those who seem to be handling every task efficiently and never fail to meet a deadline. We often feel envious of such individuals and wonder why these people are always ahead of us and are able to complete their tasks with such efficiency and enthusiasm.
Ever wonder what their secret is? The answer is simple: multitasking. Anyone who is good at multitasking can increase his work efficiency by almost a hundred percent. Many people have the inborn talent for multitasking while others have to learn this art through trial and error. Whatever the case may be, multitasking at work can save a lot of time and energy and help you in achieving better results.
What Is Multitasking?
In very simple words, multitasking is handling multiple tasks at the same time without compromising on a single task. The ability of handling multiple tasks at the same time makes you more efficient and productive at work.For this precise reason, employers retain employees who are good at multitasking and such individuals get more promotions as compared to their peers who are not so good at multitasking.
Who Can Multitask?
There are many people who consider that multitasking is an inborn talent that cannot be acquired by practice. There is also a group of people who believe that women are naturally better at multitasking than men. Both these schools of thoughts are wrong as anybody can learn to multitask. While it is true that there are some people who are naturally good at multitasking, there is nothing to say that multitasking cannot be learnt or acquired by practice.
The Basics Of Multitasking:
Multitasking is not as difficult or complex as it sounds and one can learn to multitask by following a few basic steps such as:
In order to be able to multitask, the most important thing is that you need to be organized and everything you are dealing with should be planned. If you are not organized you cannot efficiently handle the tasks simultaneously and in the end you might end up wasting more time in switching between tasks rather than saving time.
You need to make a schedule and prioritize all the tasks that are at hand according to the level of importance. When you have a scheduled list, you can very easily handle two or more tasks at the same time without wasting any time at all.
Start With Simpler Tasks:
If you are new to multitasking, it is bets that you start with simpler tasks in the beginning as they will be easier to handle. Trying to multi task on difficult projects can lead to failure and frustration which might deter you from learning to multitask.
Finish Pending Jobs:
If you are working on a single or more jobs make sure that you finish them before turning to the next one. If you leave jobs unfinished and start new tasks every other hour, at the end of the day you will have worked very hard but not finished a single job. This destroys the essence of multi tasking and wastes time rather than saving it.
A very important part of multitasking is delegating work to the team members. As a manager you can distribute work efficiently to make sure that the results delivered are on time and up to the mark. You need to realize that not all tasks can be accomplished by a single person so it is important to share the burden.
Handle Tasks Without Delay:
If you wish to multitask, you need to be able to deal with each and every job as soon as it lands on your desk. Do not leave tasks for later on if you have the time to get them done now. Leaving jobs for later is never a good idea as it leads to work piling up and wasting more time in getting it sorted.
Take A Break:
Even if you are trying to get used to multitasking, there is no harm in taking a break every now and then as it will help in releasing the stress and when you are more relaxed you can deal with the jobs at hand in a more efficient manner.
Split tasks into smaller jobs:
Some people find it hard to work on a big project as the task seems too daunting and huge. This problem can be easily solved by breaking the task into smaller parts so that each part can be dealt with as an individual job. This will help in improving your performance by teaching you how to multitask and once you are done with the small tasks your big project is already completed.
The Down Side Of Multitasking:
While there are many benefits of multitasking, some people argue that there are also negative aspects to multitasking. It is true that multitasking can be detrimental in some aspects, which is why it is important to know when and how to multitask. Some of the common drawbacks of multitasking include:
When you are multitasking, be sure to know your limits as too much multitasking can be stressful and lead to increase in job related stress. You need to take regular breaks and know when to call it quits. Pushing yourself too hard to achieve the maximum possible results can result to a burn out.
Lack Of Work-Home Balance:
Moreover it is important to retain a balanced approach in work and personal life as people who are used to multitasking can get a bit carried away and loose this balance. People who multitask often tend to become workaholics as they feel difficulty in detaching themselves from their work.
Multitasking is work technique that helps you in performing better with effective time management. Once you learn how to multitask effectively, you can progress in your career by getting the maximum output from your time and effort. Make sure that you do not over do it, as excess of everything is bad.