We’ve all been there. Deadlines looming, co-workers gossiping, team members waiting, and not much hope for getting it all done on time. But there are ways to get more done in less time and keep the stress levels to a minimum.
The best way to successfully multitask is to set realistic goals. Multitasking done wrong can lead to poor decision-making and, therefore, more anxiety as you then need to correct mistakes and do things again. Make use of tested strategies to ensure you are multitasking to the best of your ability and smash those deadlines.
Multitasking has been known to lead to less-than-perfect work, but with our tried and tested tips, we will have you multitasking like a pro in no time. Here are our top 5 ways to multitask, without stress.
Set realistic goals
It’s so often tempting to take on what we wish we could do, rather than a realistic amount of work. We may feel like a superhero while planning our day out, but we do need to remember that we are mere mortals, and mortals need time and energy to get things done well. While setting your goals, keep in mind aspects like breaks, mental and physical energy, available resources, and all the projects you have on the go. Take away the non-essentials and focus on the most important tasks for your daily goals.
Once you have a clear mental image of your goals, it’s time to make lists. Not only do lists help us stay on track, but they are extremely fulfilling to tick off! Try a few different formats and find the style that works best for you. Whether it’s bullet journal-style, shopping list style, or even an online tool like the Google Keep app, make it yours, and don’t forget to keep checking it, as you work your way through your projects.
Keep the focus
If you are in multitasking mode, you need as few distractions as possible. It may be a good idea to switch off the phone for a set amount of time, close your emails and switch off any background distractions, like TV or radio. If you can, close the door and post a note on it that says what time you will be available again. If you are working with a team, using a collaborative tool, like Google Teams will help you let everyone know that you will be unavailable for a short while and what you are working on.
Part of multitasking is being able to function at your optimum. To get the best out of your brain, you need to give it fuel. That means taking breaks and having refreshments. If you are in hectic multitask mode, try to eat clean foods, with as little sugar as possible. (As tempted as you might be to grab that chocolate bar!) Healthy sandwiches, bananas, eggs, apples, nuts, water, and even our beloved coffee are good options for sustained energy while working hard. Remember that our brains also need air, so do take a few minutes outside whenever possible too.
Manage your time
While this may seem like an obvious one, it can be a make or break for your multitasking expedition. Time management means plotting your tasks according to priorities and deadlines. You can then group them according to similarities and work on similar tasks at the same time. Use a tool like Google Calendar to track your time management for each task and stay on track to avoid focusing too long on one and neglecting the others. A big trick for managing your time while multitasking is to work at a steady pace. Try not to rush, or you will find yourself having to repeat tasks.
Multitasking may seem like an overwhelming idea, or one set aside for those who like to do things at the last minute. In truth, it can help you to complete similar tasks more quickly, and engage those thought processes needed for specific projects more fully, as you work on more than one aspect of a topic at the same time. Make use of the helpful tools freely available to you on the web, or a simple pen and piece of paper to visualize what your goals are, and what you need to do to make them happen. With these easily implemented strategies, nothing can stop you! Go forth and multitask!