When it comes to managing time and our productivity, we have been taught to believe that there are two kinds of people. The monochronic, those who prefer doing one task at a time, and the polychronic, those who perform several tasks at once with surprisingly umpteenth productivity. But I think that we all multitask a little, with the alternating success of course.
If you can recall, many of us were brought up with the idea that “one thing at a time” means better productivity. This was mostly imposed on us because of that other ubiquitous saying, “jack of all trades, master of none.”
Contrary to these old quotes, many of us multitask on the daily. Ever read something while listening to music with something baking in the oven? Yes, we all multitask, and we’re doing it more and more every day. It is, therefore, possible to be a master of several things, while synchronizing your tasks in harmony actually to be productive. But like most things, this is a learning process.
As I have learned, it takes a lot of conscious planning while multitasking actually to do it well. I call it multi-task-management. If you are aware and don’t lose sight of your entire set-up, things will get done. What is at stake, most importantly, is making your time well spent. Here are some things to keep in mind to harmoniously manage your multitasking:
Start without stress
It is often crunch time that makes us fall prey to multitasking. Get rid of this idea! This is the death of productivity. If you start multitasking under stress, there will be loopholes in your level of productivity. What you should do is figure out a good stretch of time, wherein you can allocate several tasks. Once you’ve done so, go ahead and get your priorities right.
Use all the technological help you need
Multitasking requires reminders, alarms, calendars, lists, etc. I find it easier managed with some extra help from the apps (my best friend when multitasking) on my smartphone and computer.
Take a break
Multitasking takes up a lot of your brain power. Don’t sprint through it. I’ve realized that I’ll take a break from multitasking and meditate for a bit to zone out the excess pressure of productivity. Some breathing exercises to freshen you up, a scoop of ice-cream, whatever to get you relaxed before the marathon.
Keep your priorities in mind
Again, technology will help you with this in its ability to set lists and reminders. I find that if I figure out what needs to be done with more effort, I do that first. It is important not to forget your list of immediate to-do’s, while also keeping in sight the tasks that can be done later and easily.
Switch it up
In the long run, you need to remember that you should not multitask all the time. Productivity is best played with versatility. That way your productivity doesn’t go stale. Once, in a while recharge your productivity-stress ratio by doing single task activities. Feeling like burning out from multitasking all the time is common.