You have arrived at your workplace, you enter the office and sit at the table. On the table is a stack of papers and liability only coming. On the computer, you opened a million tabs and you jump from one to another, then, again, you go back to that pile on the table and so on. An increasing amount of work that has caused the need to be faster and more efficient, forces us to do more things at once. Solving multiple things at once (multitasking) creates a sense of productivity. It might be the case because if we manage to save a few routine tasks, but it does not thereby harm their quality that is achieved, then indeed we are productive. However, if frantically chasing our tails, we do a little of everything, but we do not finish. It creates a completely different effect. Besides that you will be exhausted and frustrated, your work obligations are not reduced, on the contrary, will only pile up and create even more chaotic pile of “to do” lists.
Solving multiple tasks revived at one point in the 1900s, when the survey of working efficiency was done and on this occasion it was suggested that workers are more productive, doing few things not just once. However, the practice was later shown that multitasking is good, but only if the performance of routine actions that do not require extreme concentration and attention. What has changed is that now there is evidence that if a person does two, three or five things at once complex, not only that there will be more productive there is a chance to be counter-productive.
Advantages and disadvantages of multitasking
Everyone has his own ways of working and the way that works best. For some people, multitasking is the solution how to solve routine tasks that do not require special attention or time-consuming. Everyone knows how fast, how well and how they will resolve his obligations. The advantage of multitasking is that “second job” can help to creativity because in this occasion different cognitive functions are used, for example, the design layout web pages and calls. Another positive aspect of multitasking is that you can eliminate more little things that are piling up, and do not require a great mental effort (save the work table, preparing tomorrow’s commitments – for example as you eliminate unnecessary paperwork, a special bunch, you can stack the document in order of priority). Functional multitasking can help us to be faster. However, any way you choose, you need a plan. If you are coping with multitasking, make a plan matching activities that you can perform at the same time, and that both are well done.
On the other hand, multitasking can be a very harmful because it causes stress and frustration if applied to the daily basis over a long period of time, can be one of the causes of burnout (burnout syndrome). Switching the focus from one thing to another is the rapid change that gives us the illusion that we perform tasks simultaneously, as a result of misconceptions because our perceptions are more tired at multitasking, but we do not have to be extremely effective.
Studies have shown that, although we do more things at the same time, our brain focuses on one or two things, so while driving our attention is as much as 35% slower if you use a mobile phone, which is slower than when we are in a state of intoxication. During multitasking, all the information you remember being a small segment compared to all what you could learn by doing one thing. The brain registers the information (done in multitasking) in the part that is used for learning new skills, while when we focus on something and do it with care, the brain puts it in part for keeping the information easier to recall. This means that it is not impossible that we write for example mail to someone while we are talking by phone, but we can hope to do both things well is less the maximum (depending of course on the complexity of the e-mail and telephone conversations). As already mentioned, each has its own system of work that suits him and the mode of operation in which is the most productive.
How successfuly to do multiple tasks at once
Determine goals that you could have an idea you want to achieve. Extract the tasks that you want to devote in a special way and the remaining sync. Synchronization will achieve that in the best way it is possible, connect activities you can do together. Try to connect an activity which is solely manual and one that requires mental work (for example Iron and a telephone).
Throw out everything superfluous. Given that multitasking is required for itself, remove all those little things that are unnecessary to you at that moment. This may be the noise in the room in which you work or colleagues who you non-stop fall with their problems and projects for which they need your help. If you know that there is a possibility to be interrupted, make the schedule of activities. Tasks that you work in a multitasking should be those which solve, not the ones who you adopt and learn.
Fill cracks. Always leave yourself a little space for other things that you can do in the “meantime”. If, during a big project that requires a lot of time and energy leave space for a “vacation” by doing a little something for a moment and take a break from the current project. These little things you can do at the time while you are waiting, for example, some information or approval at some event, and in this way, your time will be well filled.
Clever use the time you have available. If you travel frequently, use the most of the time travel and do the little things along the way that you worked in the office. While you are in a bus or car, plan the next few days or a meeting you ahead … Because it certainly must do, the time you spend driving, it will be well spent, doing at least two things at once. If you are not the driver, you can hear from a client, read the magazine that normally you do not have time for and all the other little things.
Multitasking may not learn you anything new, but so can you practice all of what you already know well, to shorten the time you need something done, and to get rid of all those little things that you take time doing them one by one. This can be an extremely useful “tool” by which you released the schedule for all the great and important things that require your full concentration.
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