It is often debated whether or not multitasking is an effective way of working, but it is frequently unavoidable. You have projects at the same level of priority with similar due dates and more in the pipeline, meaning you need to work on several items at once to make sure all requirements are being met. Even so, knowing you need to multitask doesn’t make it simple. Here are four tips to help you with multitasking at work.
1. Always Start With a Plan
One of the worst mistakes to make in multitasking is diving right in without thinking of how you’re going to balance the work. Before you begin working on several items at once, you need to figure out how you’re going to effectively do this.
Compare the different tasks and look for similarities in each. To keep your mind as focused as possible, you want the work to be in the same style, so you aren’t mentally jumping back and forth. Write out your to-do list reflecting these groupings and set goals so you can monitor your progress.
2. Keep Going Back to Your List and Goals
Once you’ve created this list, it should be used for more than just checking off what’s done. You want to use it to gauge how effectively you’re working and make sure you’re reaching the right milestones in a timely manner. If you keep checking back in with little-to-no progress, it might be time to rethink your strategy.
3. Remove All Distractions
In general, distractions get in the way of what you’re trying to accomplish and slow you down. When multitasking, these can pull you out of the zone and add even more time to get back into the rhythm of what you were doing.
Distractions can be any number of things, including noisy co-workers, email or your cellphone. To help yourself, consider putting on a pair of headphones, closing your email and flipping your phone over so you’re not letting interruptions slip into your work.
4. Review What You’ve Done
One danger of multitasking is doing the wrong work or using incorrect wording on one project, whether it’s from opening the wrong file or getting lost in the work and forgetting where you’re working. Once a task is completed, review what you’ve done to make sure it’s correct and relevant to the project.
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