If you’re the kind of person who has excellent concentration and can juggle several things at once, then chances are you’re a multitasker. And if you can keep your eye on all the balls in the air without ever dropping one, you’re a rare breed of person. Most of us – even those of us who are pretty skilled multitaskers — could always do with some more strategies to do it better. And nobody loves extra strategies for multitasking more than a multitasker … we just power up on finding better ways to do things. we’ll show you how to multitask more efficiently without losing track.
So here’s some hints on how to multitask more efficiently, for you to follow like the 10 Commandments—well 9— to improve your skills.
9 tips to multitask more efficiently
1. Allow extra time
Tasks can often take longer to complete than expected because of interruptions during your day or because you underestimated how long it would actually take. That’s why it’s important to give yourself more time to complete something than may be needed — and to allow for any interruptions occurring.
Now, that’s not to say that you should take too long to complete tasks even if you’re not interrupted, it’s really just a way for you to complete your work on time and to reduce your stress while doing them.
2. Work on one thing at a time, but alternate
Often when you work on one thing at a time you get restless. To combat this, it may help if you work on one task at a time but alternate between one and another. And, over time, this can help you improve your multitasking skills by making your split between tasks more fluent and natural.
3. Becoming effective at switching gears
Whenever you feel you need a change of pace with your tasks, try switching from one that requires more in-depth research and time to complete to ones that are easy and quick.
This helps break up your day and can reinvigorate you to keep going with the bigger, more difficult tasks.
4. Use your time efficiently
Being an efficient worker doesn’t always mean just completing tasks well and in a timely manner. It can also mean making sure that your work space and surrounds are as efficient as possible so that you can work well and don’t get out of ‘the zone’.
Doing this can involve taking your trash out, keeping your desk tidy—including drawers—or eliminating as many distractions as possible, simply so that you can use your actual working time efficiently and get as much done as you can during your day.
5. Spend 15 minutes scoping out a new project as it comes in. Then leave it.
Spending 15 minutes thinking about how you’ll approach a task/project can help you because, by not working on it as soon as you get it, you give yourself—and your mind— time to come up with the best way to approach and complete it.
6. Prioritizing high payoff and low priority tasks
Prioritizing tasks that you know are more important than others can make you a more effective worker because it shows that you can make good decisions about what needs to be done by a certain time and know how to multitask more efficiently.
To do this, you need to look at your workload and decide whether it is a high payoff or a low priority task based on what the task is and even who the work relates to, e.g. a big client at work or research someone from accounting asked for.
7. Work on related tasks together
Sometimes tasks can go hand in hand and complement each other well. When this happens, it can be helpful to work on them together, instead of working on them hours apart.
To do this—and do it well—you should go through your list of things to do and see if there are any common links between each task so that you can work on them more fluidly. This not only improves your multitasking skills, but can also help give you ideas for each task. For example, writing two articles on the same topic but from different points of view.
8. Write it down, and take three at a time
Something that may help you to multitask more efficiently is to work in shorter bursts and then taking a break, instead of working for long stretches of time with no break.
Doing this can help you become better at multitasking because, by writing down what you have to do and then completing them in sets of three or from easy to difficult, you become a more disciplined worker with a great work ethic.
9. Keep a list of short tasks handy
Keeping a list of tasks you need to complete can help you stay focused by keeping track of what you need to do and how long you want or need to spend on each task. Doing this can help you multitask better because it can help keep your mind fresh and active while you’re working and can even be a great way to improve your memory.