Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Weekly Course on Time Management – Week 3 – How To Multitask Effectively With Proper Planning
Today, I am going to discuss the topic of how to multitask effectively. Honestly, I don’t think I am qualified to guide you on multitasking because I would often multitask to the point when I feel stretched and exhausted. However, there must be a way to multitask effectively, right? If not, how do successful people do and accomplish so many things in a day? This intrigued me, and I started researching more on the topic of effective multitasking.
Multitasking has received its fair share of a bad reputation for obvious reasons. It can adversely affect our concentration, keep us distracted, and reduce our work quality if it is not done efficiently. Quite often, working and homeschooling mothers are forced to multitask, especially when they have a lot of work on their hands and too little time to complete it all in an orderly fashion. But because they are inexperienced in multitasking and are constantly stressing about the lack of time, instead of finishing all the tasks at hand with ease, they create more work for themselves.
In today’s lesson, I will be teaching busy bee homeschool moms how to multitask effectively and learn the basics of time management.
What is Effective Multitasking?
Effective multitasking is when we can work on 2 or 3 tasks simultaneously with minimum effort or hassle without compromising the quality of work. It is usually possible when one task is done subconsciously and the other is done consciously. For example, when we drive, talk, and navigate the way, all at the same time.
Throughout the day, we might be multitasking effectively without even realizing it. But the chances of getting distracted and messing up increase when we add more things to the mix. Keeping the following techniques in mind will teach you how to improve the effectiveness of your multitasking.
How To Multitask With Proper Planning
Remember, multitasking can be extremely time-consuming if done consciously. It requires proper planning and strategy. You have to be an experienced multitasker to ensure that all the work is being done efficiently. Before juggling 2-3 important tasks at one time, you must identify what these tasks will be and whether you can take the risk of doing 1 or 2 of them subconsciously. For example, it is possible to listen to an audio lecture on childhood psychology while cooking, but it is almost impossible to cook, change your baby’s diaper, and answer phone calls simultaneously.
Planning the tasks that you will be working on at one given time will also train your mind for the workload. You will approach the task at hand fully prepared.
Grouping Related Tasks
We don’t often realize this, but our brain recognizes work in groups. For example, reading and writing are related tasks associated with our brain’s comprehension and language functions. Hence, the two can be grouped and performed at the same time. You can read a book and simultaneously make lecture notes from it to save your time.
Yes, even when multitasking, you must prioritize one task over the other, depending on its level of importance and urgency. For example, if you are washing the dishes and answering calls on the speakerphone, which one do you think is the priority amongst the two?
Correct, it is the urgent call that you received from your landlord about the rent renewal contract. It was so important to accept that urgent call that you decided to take the call, as you were washing the dishes.
Tasks that are your priority will become the ones that you undertake consciously. Hence you will spend more time and effort on them. Whereas the tasks that rank low on the priority list will become the ‘side tasks,’ you will spend less time and effort on them. These are usually the tasks that require minimum concentration, such as washing laundry, sweeping the floor, listening to music, etc.
You get better at effective multitasking only through practice, and practice requires consistency. Once you are at it, don’t stop or take breaks unless you have completed all the work because breaking the tempo will make you lose your focus. It is a lot like working in a rhythm. If the rhythm breaks, the work you were doing subconsciously so effortlessly will suddenly become difficult because now you will have to prepare your mind again to juggle 2-3 tasks at one time. So, be consistent, gradually ease into the flow, and never work on more than 3 tasks at one given time.
Homeschool and working mothers don’t always have the luxury to delegate work. They are forced to multitask on numerous occasions to finish work in a limited amount of time. Ineffective multitasking can significantly reduce the quality of work, but effective multitasking can save a lot of time. To multitask effectively, you must plan, prioritize, and group your tasks. Never work on more than 3 tasks at once, and remember to be consistent because you only become a pro at effective multitasking through practice.
P/S: Plan and rule your day with hundreds of