Productivity: 3 Tips For Multitasking Smarter, Not Harder

Multitasking: Do it the wrong way and your productivity suffers. Related: 7 Ways To Stay Productive At Work These days, technology makes it easy to do multiple tasks at once - or so we thought. According to this infographic, only two percent of people can successfully multitask. The rest of us are just wasting our time trying. You may think you're accomplishing a lot when you're talking on the phone with a client while simultaneously Gchating with your co-workers and updating your Facebook status (in fact, while reading this article, I bet you couldn't help but check your phone or e-mail); however, it turns out our brain doesn't really work that way. Sorry guys. But I'm not here to criticize. I can honestly say that I am the worst of the worst when it comes to multitasking. Do I have a multitasking addiction? Maybe. But this must-do-everything-right-this-second attitude isn't an uncommon mentality. Unfortunately, in this day and age, people expect you to do multiple tasks at once. So, how can we multitask more efficiently? Is it possible? Here are some tips to help out your overworked brain to multitask smarter, not harder:

1. Evaluate Your Multitasking Habits

Think about your assignments and why you feel you need to multitask while doing them. Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do you really need to get all of these tasks done simultaneously?
  • Are you trying to multitask because you feel you are not being challenged enough?
  • Are you trying to multitask because you feel overwhelmed?
  • Is your multitasking the result of distractions?
  • Are there specific tasks that get done faster when you multitask?
  • Which tasks do you need to buckle down and give your full attention to?
Once you are aware of these things, it's easier to organize your multitasking efforts.

2. Use Different Stimuli

Want to multitask smarter? Try doing tasks that involve two types of stimuli, such as visual and auditory tasks. According to this article on ABC News, using different stimuli makes multitasking easier. If you try to do two visual tasks at the same time, such as sending a Tweet while writing an article, your brain can get overwhelmed. This can slow down your productivity. Instead, try choosing tasks that involve different types of stimuli such as talking on the phone while going over web design options or sales graphs.

3. Give Your E-mail A Break

I know, I know, I hate the idea of this one, too. What if you received an urgent e-mail? What if you look bad if you don't respond within five minutes? What if, what if, what if! However, now that I have been more aware of my multitasking habits, I've noticed that I click over to my e-mail almost every five minutes. Usually, there isn't anything new to look at: No new e-mails. No urgent messages. Nothing. My advice? Close your e-mail tab. If you are concerned about responding to e-mails, check it every hour instead of every five minutes. In most cases, an e-mail can wait for 60 minutes without being answered. Food for thought: Technology is changing the way we do things. Is it also changing the way we think? Although technology appears to be making us a more productive society, is it actually making us less productive? This post was originally published on an earlier date.

Related Posts

3 Steps To Genuine Productivity At Work Want To Be More Productive? 6 Things To Consider 5 Yoga Practices That Make You More Productive   Photo Credit: Shutterstock

When most people think of Nike, they think of shoes, retail stores, and, of course, athletes. That's all true, but there's more. Behind Nike's walls, you'll find the doers and thinkers who design, create, and innovate every day. There are also data scientists who discover and leverage athlete insights to create the future of sport.

You might be surprised to learn about the impact you can have in Data & Analytics at Nike versus at a major tech giant. Nike employees get to work on a wide array of challenges, so if you're obsessed with math, science, computers, and/or data, and you love sport, these stories may inspire you to work at Nike.

SHOW MORE Show less

Employee loyalty is something every company longs for. It's estimated employee turnover costs as much as 130-200% of an employee's salary. When a talented, knowledgeable, trained employee leaves, it's bad for business. And, when lots of them leave, it can be the kiss of death.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the interview situation one of our viewers, Remi submitted. He was in an interview and was asked the question: How many cows are there in Canada right now? - What a weird question but this is a technique that some hiring managers are using these days.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Kevin submitted. He is a college student who's working a part time job to make ends meet. The manager/owner of the company has become a micro-manager who watches him work on camera and reads his company emails. A bit over the top wouldn't you say?

SHOW MORE Show less

All work and no play can create a tense and unwelcoming environment. Studies have shown that employers that offer additional perks have employees that are happier and more loyal to their place of employment. If you are looking for an employer that acknowledges how important it is to give its employees a place to de-stress and bond with their co-workers, check out these companies!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if you worked for an owner who micro-manages you my watching you work on camera and reading through your company emails.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less