There might be few jobs across the globe that don’t require some sort of multitasking skill. Because there are countless job ads on the television, newspaper or on other various means which includes some sort of stress on multitasking skill. So those who nail it are lucky enough because there are more chances for them to get to their dream jobs. But those who have a zilch amount of multitasking skill can still develop this skill.
For that reason, all you need to do is read the article below on Multitasking and Everything You Need to Know About It and apply every piece of information practically. There are, most importantly, various views and myths about multitasking which might confuse you at some point, therefore, beforehand I recommend you clear your mind and read the article, then, apply it fits you. Then let us know in the comment section if it proved to be helpful to you.
Multitasking Skill and Everything You Need to Know About It
Backgrounding vs Tasking Multitasking
Multitasking involves juggling different tasks and switching attention from one to another task at a time. In his book “The Myth of Multitasking: How ‘Doing It All’ Gets Nothing Done”, Dave Crenshaw explains that multitasking is just a non-existing word. In fact, you don’t multitask instead you are either Switch-tasking or Background Tasking. Accordingly, he defines them both as different ways of getting things done.
Background Tasking is defined as performing a task while in the background, being engaged with something mindless or mundane. For instance, listening to music while exercising or chatting with your friend while cooking your favorite meal (which I suppose you have mastered).
He, on the other hand, defines switch-tasking as attempting to do multiple attention-requiring tasks at the same time. When you switch between tasks, as a result, there occurs a loss of time, decrease in performance, and an increase in stress levels.
All in all, either you call it multitasking or switch-tasking doesn’t make any difference if it doesn’t happen to give you a hand in your busy schedule. Despite all the studies which say that multitasking makes us slower and less accurate, there are still various events when you can’t avoid it. Hence, before discussing how to multitask, we shall put a glance at things we should multitask and things we shouldn’t.
Multitasking Skill: What to Do and What Not to Do
The human brain wasn’t designed to switch back and forth to different tasks quickly. As a result, when you try to multitask, it takes your brain a little while to truly concentrate on any particular task meanwhile. As in his book: “The Personal MBA“, Josh Kaufman says:
“In order to take actions, your brain has to ‘load’ the context of what you are doing into working memory. If you constantly switch the focus of your attention, you are forcing your brain to spend time and effort thrashing, loading and reloading contexts over and over again. That is why it’s possible to spend an entire day multitasking, get nothing done and feel exhausted at the end – you have burned all your energy context-switching instead of making progress.”
This means that multitasking isn’t beneficial at all but just as long as you are performing tasks which need your attention and energy at a high volume. However, when you are performing tasks such as talking to your friend or mom, cooking your everyday meal, cleaning which don’t require very much attention, you can alongside them do something else too such as listening to an audiobook. So the rule of thumb is you can multitask those tasks which don’t require a lot of attention and energy.
How to Multitask
Now that you are you know what to multitask and what not to, now it is time to learn how to multitask. There are some dos and don’ts that you need to take care of to get the most out of your multitasking.
1. Planning is the Key
Initially, it is best to plan before you set the stage to work. You can do that on either a piece of paper or you can use some software such as Todoist. Besides, you should also prioritize those you need to get done soon and mark similar tasks and tasks you can multitask.
2. Use Any Task Management Tool
If you have to play with more than one tasks at the same time, it isn’t easy to manage them all. And you have to struggle all the way down until you get to the deadline and let’s be honest you hardly ever complete your tasks such as your math assignment which you need to complete by tomorrow, shop for some food, call your mom, meet your doctor or maybe complete your science project before the end of the week but you haven’t yet started probably due to lack of knowledge and experience.
Therefore, if you can’t manage your time for a single task at a time, it is next to impossible to manage your time efficiently while multitasking. So, you, initially, need to learn to manage your time and you can do so by using some sort of task management tools such as Habitica, Wunderlist or Todoist. You can prioritize them according to their deadlines or importance.
Then, it is easy because when you have everything planned or organized, all you need to do is work. Additionally, by the end of the tasks, you can mark them as done and start the next most important task after a short fun break or a walk.
3. Set Reminders or Notifications
By the time you have mastered or at least learned a bit to manage your time effectively, you need to learn to block your time while working. For instance, when I was writing this article, I had a lot to do in my to-do list, for that reason, there were no chances of me getting lost or demotivated and finding myself an hour or two later watching something on YouTube or using social media for no reason at any point. But also I didn’t have to become a machine to get all tasks done, therefore, I had my timer set for various tasks at fixed timing and for a fixed duration to notify me after every one hour.
As a result, by the end of the day, I completed all my to-dos for the day. Hence, time management is the key to get everything done. You can’t complete your tasks just organizing your tasks by priority, so you have to block your time otherwise you end up procrastinating.
4. Break Down Your Tasks into Subtasks
Looking at your work as a giant mass is the worst thing you can do. Because this will not only cause you to keep procrastinating but also they will remain unmanageable ever after resulting regrets and failures. Therefore, no matter how massive your tasks seem to be, you have to get them done before the deadline. So, break down your tasks into simple and small subtasks which will then seem less intimidating.
For instance, to write this article on Multitasking Skill, I used Google Keep my go-to app for planning and organizing. I broke this article down into various pieces and checked out each sub-task after completing them.
5. Use Your Downtime Wisely
When you have finished any of your tasks or let’s say all of them for that day, you might say no it is time to party. I believe celebrations are great and you have to have some fun but what if your party today and regret tomorrow because then you have a lot more to do in lesser time than yesterday.
Therefore, before you go for partying, you should plan your tomorrow. Write down all the tasks you have to accomplish or multitask tomorrow. Set notifications or reminders, break your large tasks into pieces and organize all your day, then, have fun.
The Bottom Line
That’s all for this article on Multitasking Skill. I hope you found it useful and if so, let us know in the comment. Also, if there are other tips and tricks which helps you get things done and be productive meanwhile multitasking, we will be glad to hear from you.