Are we really more efficient and productive when we multitask? Not really. Studies have shown that multitaskers, in fact, aren’t necessarily more productive or efficient than those who focus on one task at a time. And, they don’t really manage to do more than one task at a time, anyway. So why do we do it?
“[People who multitask] are not being more productive—they just feel more emotionally satisfied from their work,” that is what a study by researcher Zhang When found, as mentioned in What Multitasking Does to Our Brains. Article author Leo Wildrich goes onto say, “She mentioned that if we study with our books open, watch TV at the same time and text friends every so often, we get a great feeling of fulfillment. We are getting all these things done at once, and we feel incredibly efficient.”
Nothing screws up multitasking more than just jumping from task to task haphazardly.
Admit it; there is something sort of intoxicating about having several devices open and working on them all. We all know we are going to do it. So, let’s check out some tips from How to be a Multitasking Genius, by author Robine Fisher.
Make a list of everything you need to accomplish and group similar tasks. Multitasking 101, right? How much time you waste in a day doing thinking about what you need to do next? Or trying to remember what you needed to get done? Or getting distracted by tasks that really weren’t that important?
Fisher suggests listing everything you need to get done, even down to menial tasks. Cross off the tasks as you finish them to keep track. If possible, group similar tasks together to maximize your organization.
Master The Pomodoro Technique. “One of the reasons people multitask is because they can’t handle doing a single task for a long period of time. With The Pomodoro Technique, you take a five minute break in between 25 minutes of working,” says Fisher.
So, you work on one task for 25 minutes, take a five minute break, then start on another task for the next cycle. It keeps each task divided equally by time and keeps the multitasking organized and orderly.
Allot proper divisions of tasks. Nothing screws up multitasking more than just jumping from task to task haphazardly. Stopping and starting at random moments, or mid-task, gets nothing done. And it certainly gets nothing done well. Make sure that you reach a proper stopping point in each task before you start the next one.
Use time management apps. There are tons of time management apps out there to help you stay on track. Fisher suggests Remember the Milk to help you make to-do lists and Pomodoro.me to help you master The Pomodoro Technique. There are several more that can keep you on track at Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools.
The key to multitasking is to make sure that you aren’t just doing a lot of stuff to do a lot of stuff. You want to make sure that at the end of the day, you are getting work done and getting results. If you find yourself with a few minutes to spare or want to kick-start your multitasking, check out this 1-minute trick to boost your productivity.