One of the overrated skills often seen in job applications is multitasking. People seem fascinated by the idea of being able to do so many things at one time. The concept seems attractive in the same vein as having smartphones do several functions all at once.
However, human minds are bound by certain limitations such as components that cannot be upgraded at will. In some cases, promoting a culture of multitasking in the office leads to unproductive employees who get stuffed with projects on various levels of progression. In order to have a better understanding of how harmful multitasking can be to your work and life, here are a few elements you can consider about the subject.
Distractions in the workplace
When you look at your desktop, you might find some shortcuts to office tools such as emails, calendars, and databases. Each of these programs is just a click away, and it’s always tempting to access them whenever you get notifications or updates. You feel the urgency to move that certain project forward, but it actually takes time away from the current task at hand.
In a sense, the other tasks on your list can be considered distractions if they hinder you from finishing what you are supposed to be doing. Focus is quite difficult to maintain if you are forced to accomplish several duties at once.
This brings us to how most people treat each task as something that can be ticked one by one off the list. It’s actually more complicated than just going back and forth to several processes. The human mind can’t immediately adjust how it views and remembers facts, figures, and other data.
It takes some time—around 20 minutes—before you can fully shift from one mindset to another. In short, you should also factor that time into coming up with better task schedules for your workday.
Also Read: Top 5 Ways to Relax After a Long Day at Work
Scheduling and directing your attention
Multitasking can only work in your favor if you apply it to a set schedule throughout your shift. By doing this, your brain and attention will not be confused by the cloud of data you’re expected to analyze. Another thing you can do is to stick to a regular habit. A good example is to answer most of your emails during the morning.
Doing so will tell your clients and constituents that they can expect an immediate answer if they send you messages first thing in the morning. It’s also good to note that it’s a good time to concentrate on composing messages since your mind is still fresh. Other tasks can then be distributed during the remaining hours.
Hopefully, you are reading this and not doing something else. Browsing through articles from the web can also contribute to forcing you to multitask. It’s better to set aside 30 minutes to an hour a day of looking through web resources and stick to that schedule. If you’re smart about your approach to multitasking, you can end up being more productive than ever before.