Multi-task is the concept of carrying out or being involved in several tasks of similar or varied nature at a given period. This undoubtedly involves an element of stress and pressure because of the nature of fluctuation that it carries along with it. Working under pressure requires certain strengths to thrive and move on with your required tasks and objectives. Multitasking is no more a buzzword as it was earlier. In today’s job multitasking is inherently involved and is one of the primary criteria for candidate selection. The selection criteria involve assessment based on an individual’s ability to multi-task along with being engaged and productive in the work environment.
Let us now dig deep into the tips outlining what should one do, to be productive in a multitasking environment.
- Health first: A healthy body is the key to a healthy mind. You must take care of your health to be able to be more productive and focused at the workplace. Exercising, eating right and proper sleep are some of the must-do activities. Take some time for yourself, do things you enjoy doing such as spending time with family, writing, painting or gardening.
- Metric oriented: It all starts from your goals and KRA’s. When you list down your KRA’s, make sure you can further divide it in projects/tasks that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based). Always attach metric to each one of them so that at any given point of time you can measure and deliver the required reports.
- Prioritize: You need to first list down all your tasks in one single sheet. This can something as simple as the one shown below. You can keep adding columns as per your job oriented or functional requirement. Further in one of the columns, you can add priority and allocate your time accordingly as per the priority. This helps you keep on track with the project schedule. In the remarks column, you can record any additional comment or developments relative to the task.
|Sl. No.||Task||Priority||Assigned to||Category||Sub Category||Deadline||Status||Remarks|
- One task at a time: Even if you are juggling between different projects, it is advisable to block your time for each task separately. One task at a time will help you in reaching the milestones and on-time completion. Stick to the schedule and keep buffer time for ad hoc requests.
- Utilize time efficiently: You can have working lunch or tea meetings to utilize time. It also gives a move from a more formal approach of working to a casual and fun-based environment. You can also look to minimize time spent in meetings. Though meetings are important for planning, prioritizing, scheduling projects and tasks, however, it is advisable to keep meetings as short as possible. Post the meeting, you can focus on the action items resulting out of the meetings that are recorded in the minutes of meeting.
- Follow up: Follow up frequently with the high priority tasks. Do not leave things hanging for a long time. Always follow up with relevant personnel and departments to complete the priority tasks.
- Take breaks: You must take small breaks to help you focus at work. A short walk, listening to music, reading a page from the book or simply switching to another task and then resuming back, will keep you on track and help you get rid of monotony.
- Tools: You can make use of project management and task scheduling tools. However, a simple Microsoft Excel can do wonders. It is advisable to always keep things simple and not to juggle amongst various tools and portals.
- Task reminders and calendar: Task reminders on outlook are a great way to keep you on track with achieving your milestones. Another way are printable calendars. You can download one and try mentioning the important tasks along the dates. You can then stick it on your cubicle on use the same online. This way you are always on your toes and have minimal chance of missing a deadline. The advantage is that all the deadlines are tied against the dates in the calendar and are integrated at a single platform.
- Self-Motivation: It is human to lose interest after a period of time. However, when that happens, think of the big picture and refrain from any impulsive activity that you may have to repent later. Think of your progress as a major contribution to the company’s overall goal and make sure that at the end of the work day you are content with your contribution.
The art of multi-tasking involves practice and with time it can be perfected. Following the above can provide a base of how to carry out your daily activities with considerable ease and perfection.