Multitasking is a necessary skill for many roles across a variety of business functions. However, it can also be detrimental to efficiency and mental performance whilst at work. If multitasking is done right, it can be a great way to get a number of tasks done simultaneously, but if you end up taking on too much at one time it can lead to anxiety from poor decision making.
We’ve put together 10 top tips to help you multitask efficiently at work.
1. Set yourself realistic goals
Taking on too much at once can cause unnecessary stress and worry. At work, we often overload ourselves with all of the tasks we need to complete each day or week when it’s better to separate these out into bite-sized chunks that are easier to work through. Rather than feeling defeated when you aren’t able to complete your mammoth to-do list, be sure to set yourself achievable goals.
2. Give yourself enough time to complete your goals
It is important to recognise how long it will take you to complete a task to the best possible standard, so you are managing the expectations of your team. Multitasking can cause unnecessary stress if you are doing too much at once, and not giving yourself enough time to finish your tasks. Be sure to set realistic time frames, if you aren’t and you deliver late then it will only cause you more stress in the future.
3. Write lists
Writing lists or using online organisational tools, such as Excel or Trello, can help you to feel confident about your workload. If you leave your to-do list to memory and you have to multitask, then it is more likely that you will forget something crucial. Writing lists with explanations next to each task will create an easy-to-approach to-do list.
4. Prioritise your tasks
From a written list of tasks, it is easier to prioritise your workload. Prioritising ensures that you are delivering high priority tasks on time, and allows you to manage the expectations of the business when you have something important that you need to clear your deck for.
5. Plan your week day-by-day
After you have prioritised your tasks, you can begin to map out your schedule for each day of the week. This will put a plan in place for the tasks that you will be managing each day, and allow you to identify whether there are any days that you can work on top priority tasks on their own. Allocating yourself this time to focus, will help you to multitask more efficiently throughout the week.
6. Group tasks together where possible
Working on completely different tasks at the same time is sure to cause confusion. Make sure that when you are planning out your working week that you are grouping similar tasks together, as it will be easier to switch between the two and meet your deadlines at similar times.
7. Work at a steady pace
It can be easy to feel like you have to rush when you have a lot of different tasks to complete, but this will be counterproductive if you have to re-do work. Work at a steady pace so you don’t miss anything and are able to complete your work to the best of your ability.
8. Avoid distractions
When you are busy at work and have multiple tasks on the go, it is important to make sure you aren’t distracted. During busy periods let your colleagues know that you need some time to focus and not be disturbed unless it’s an emergency.
Putting your headphones in is a great way to block out the office noise and focus on the task at hand.
9. Allow yourself regular breaks
Working continuously throughout the day is no way to get things done to a high standard. Make sure you give yourself short breaks during the day. After this, you might find that you can identify errors that you might not have noticed before.
10. Remain focused
This can be easier said than done. However, remaining focused may just be turning your phone off during working hours, or not checking your emails for 30 minutes. This can help you to remain focused and get your to-do list checked off faster than if you find yourself distracted by everyday life.