Multitasking: juggling our precious time!
Multitasking, whether you believe it can be done or not, is something that everybody still tries to attempt. Things like driving in the car and listening to the radio, while talking on the phone (hands-free of course) are activities we do on a daily basis.
Vehement supporters of multitasking probably swear by it, but numerous studies over the years have shown that it’s not the most efficient way of getting things done. A Business Week article stated, “Efficiency can drop by as much as 40%.” In spite of these statistics, we still all seem to be able to achieve some things by juggling tasks. The problem however with multitasking is that when switching from one task to another, we might not be giving each task the full attention it needs. In the end we make mistakes and waste precious time.
There’s a certain skill that some good leaders have when it comes to tackling tasks and getting things done: Divide and conquer. Call it a more organised approach to multitasking. Identify what needs to be done first and when each task needs to be done by, so that you have a clear overview of everything you need to complete. If you’re working in a team, there could be tasks you can delegate to other members. Otherwise try and divide your tasks up and set milestones for yourself. For example, finish task A and B by X time and task C and D by Y time. This way, you’re not rushing around trying to finish tasks A, B, C and D by Z time.
Multitasking “gives you something to turn to when you’re stuck.” So when you think you’ve hit a bit of a brick wall, you can switch to something else until you feel you’re ready to go back to your first task. Although multitasking can be one of those things we do unconsciously, trying to attempt too many things in a limited amount of time can end up costing you in the long run.
Adapted from article by Maki Nishiyama.
Do you have an organized approach to multitasking?