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The pace in which we are expected to do our job while balancing our workload can make multitasking a desirable skill for improved productivity. In the short term, it can give us an advantage in our work but may also eventually lead to increased stress and burnout. Additionally, cramming in several tasks at once to complete a large chunk of things may sacrifice quality as details get lost in between.
However, that doesn't mean multitasking can't be efficient or beneficial in various context. After all, we unconsciously multitask numerous times throughout the day. Depending on conditions and the task at hand, multitasking may help you to meet deadlines and get ahead in your work when thoughtfully planned. Here's what you can do to ensure you're multitasking without jeopardizing your quality of work or health.
On a weekly and daily basis as necessary, create a list of things you need to do. Group them by priority and by which tasks can be done together or requires your undivided attention independently. This will allow you to smoothly transition between them and channel your focus to what's in front of you. You can also decrease stress with practice so juggling several tasks becomes routine and will make switching gears easier.
Going along with your list, manage your workload by allotting the tasks to fit your levels of productivity and concentration throughout the day. If you need to devote your attention to a project, find a time where you can limit most distractions around you. You can reboot by winding down to just one or two tasks that do not require heavy lifting interchangeably or readjust your schedule. Plan breaks and time where you can refresh your mind.
Rely on tools and technology that can help you to organize, schedule, and set notifications. You can set reminders on your calendar or automate responses when you can't get to emails or calls right away. Take comprehensive notes that will make returning to a task easier, include important details, and get you quickly back on track. When possible, don't be afraid to reach out to your coworkers or team members to help you stay on your feet and not be overwhelmed, including to quickly confirm details, ask an opinion, or brainstorm together.
The key to effectively multitask is to be smart in the way you work and not just working harder. Develop a process that can boost your work and stand out in your job. Find other ways you can improve your productivity here.