managing multitasking: how and when to do it

photo by Gabriel Rojas Hruska

Yesterday I went on a cleaning rampage. In addition to laundry, bathrooms, kitchen and floors, I also worked on painting a desk and the bathroom. Why the frenzy? I don’t know. Sometimes I get a burst of energy and I don’t question it.

I accomplished it all by doing more than one thing at a time. If you’ve read my posts, you know I’m not a fan of multitasking. Research shows that when people think they’re multitasking, they actually are shifting from one task to another, resulting in a loss of productivity.

When I promote multitasking, I refer to getting two chores done at the same time, neither of which requires your concentrated attention. Yesterday I vacuumed floors while washing a load of laundry. I cleaned the kitchen while I waited for the paint to dry in the bathroom. I cleaned the bathroom while I waited for the paint to dry on the desk drawers.

Instead of doing one thing, I was splitting my time between tasks. That’s the way to multitask.

You can do the same thing at work, too. Take advantage of moments when you don’t need to concentrate – check email while you print a document; file loose papers while you’re on hold on the phone.

Leave the juggling to someone who wears a clown nose.

Which low-level tasks can you accomplish together?

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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