We all try to do it. In order to get all the items on our “to do” list checked off, we attempt to do two (or more) things at once. If not at the same time, we often have more than one project active at any given moment. So many activities and demands fill our lives; we all want to figure out the best ways how to multitask.
With rapid-fire communication and easy accessibility through technology, it’s rare for anyone to have only one job on their plate. In today’s world dominated by COVID-19 where children are attending school from home while parents work, balancing several duties at once is just a part of the daily routine.
Here are seven ways how to multitask that will help you be successful and never drop the ball!
That doesn’t mean grow a white beard and start talking to reindeer (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But, if anyone knows multitasking, it’s this guy. Make a list and check it twice. The time you take to prepare the list of your projects will be well spent and will allow your progress towards completing them to be much more efficient. Instead of finishing one task and spending time wondering what to do next, you’ll have it listed right there for you. Seeing the list will also help you prioritize your tasks and mentally prepare for the next one.
Some tasks deserve your full attention. Yes, you might be under a great deal of pressure to get this one email out or read this particular report, but pick and choose what can be an activity that can be multitasked and one that needs your full focus. If you work from home, perhaps you can have a conference call while folding clothes and complete two things at once. Driving, on the other hand, is one action that is best done with 100% of your attention; driving while using your smart phone can create a dangerous situation for you, your passengers and others sharing the road with you. Before multitasking, just be sure that it is not coming at the cost of someone else.
With your list made, you know what lies before you. Help yourself out by preparing for the jobs ahead. Order your errands accordingly so you’re not running back and forth all over town without a plan; you’ll save gas, energy and time! Also, if you need supplies for any task you have, get them beforehand so you’ll be set to dive right in to the next item on your list. You’ll thank yourself for thinking ahead.
When you’re deciding how to multitask, are there a few projects you have that are similar? Considering doing them back to back so you have all the materials you need already within reach, are already in that part of town or are already in the program you’ll be using to complete them. Additionally, when you’re flowing in the frame of mind needed for one task, you can get on a roll and knock out another one that might utilize that same area of the brain.
Set the Clock.
Use your smart phone, watch or other timer to keep things moving. It’s easy to put on mental blinders and focus so hard on perfecting one item that time flies by and you miss the start time for your next “to do” item. If you finish one task early, reward yourself with a breather before picking up the next one. Otherwise, use your alarms as a virtual coach to keep you plugging away and knocking out those tasks you need to complete.
Remember when aiming for the best ways how to multitask, we’re only human. There are only 24 hours in a day. No matter how much we may have to do, those two facts will never change (well, okay, maybe on Daylight Saving days but I digress…). Start balancing very reasonable tasks and then slowly add more to learn your capacity level. We all have limits and do the absolute best we can. Be kind to yourself.
There’s definitely pride in a job well done, but don’t let pride get the best of you and not ask for help. Use the resources and people around you to help you accomplish your list. Delegating some items can free you up to concentrate on others that need your specific attention. We’re not mean to go through life alone, so when you need support, ask for it.
We are all working harder than ever and trying to find the best ways how to multitask. Using these seven steps will help you be more successful and help you complete your important tasks so that you can keep all that you’re juggling in the air!