Is ability to multitask a plus or a minus when it comes to goal-achievement and performance quality
Multi-tasking can be a very useful skill if one can use it effectively while delivering the highest level of quality. However, very few people can actually perform at their best, maintaining highest levels of quality possible, and do so consistently. What can be observed most of the time is many attempt to multi-task, because, that is what they believe can deliver best results with highest performance output, only to find out that performance actually drops after a period of time, because, our mind is having difficult time focusing on multiple tasks at once and very quickly we get into a high stress and burnout.
Sometimes we are required to multi-task, trying to assign equal amount attention and focus to several tasks, projects, and other things that we need to complete. However, these situations are more of an exception than a rule, and they often take place involuntarily. For example, you are working on an important project at work, all your attention and energy is dedicated to that project. Then, one day something happens on the personal front that needs your immediate attention, perhaps, more than one thing, and, therefore, your focus and energy is now split between two, three, or more different items. Did you plan for this to take place? Of course not, but you are not expected to give your undivided attention to multiple projects or tasks at one, trying to maintain the same high level of quality between all of them, which is extremely difficult to do especially long-term. After a period of time, as some of the projects/tasks we are working on get completed, our focus is once again resets and prioritization of tasks occurs. However, this example is once again an exception, as we should not find our mind spread across multiple projects/tasks at once in order to maintain high quality and high output performance.
So, what can one do when they find themselves in such situation where multi-tasking between several projects, tasks, requests is required?
First, just like when setting multiple goals at ones, create a list of all of your projects/tasks/requests that you are expected to focus over a period of time, including both personal and professional items to this list.
Second, prioritize your items based on level of importance and urgency. I am sure that not everything is at the highest level of important and priority, listing more urgent and critical tasks at the top of the list.
Third, assign due dates for each item on your list, including check in dates along the way. So, if you are required to complete a particular task by the end of the week, and it this is Monday, then your check in date should be mid-week – Wednesday, to reflect on your progress towards task’s completion.
Fourth, create a ‘To Do List’ in Excel for each task with due dates, and check in dates, as well as descriptions of each project/task/request, so that you can clearly see what you are working towards and by what date.
Fifth, keep you ‘To Do List’ updated every day, marking your progress, accomplishments and, if needed, re-evaluation and updating the check in dates and due dates as appropriate
Sixth, once task has been completed, delete it from your ‘To Do List’ and move on giving your full attention and energy on remaining tasks until their completion.
Once again, multi-tasking is a very useful skill, but only when that skill is used correctly and in line with your goals and priorities in your personal and professional lives. Are you skilled at multi-tasking and using it strategically to move yourself closer to accomplishing your goals in life and helping those around you?
I hope you enjoyed reading this module as much as I enjoyed writing it, and hope that you found it to be very useful for you or someone else that you may know. Please feel free to share this post if you know someone who may benefit from reading it same way you did
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