Welcome to my little fast tips on how to eliminate multitasking in the workplace! If you are here from my post about how multitasking is killing your productivity, welcome! If you haven’t checked that one out yet, I recommend starting there!
Increasing productivity in your life is only possible when you understand how negatively impactful multitasking is on your life.
So what should you do about multitasking?
Multitasking is something that we have to make a conscious effort to not do. Again if you don’t understand the concept of how multitasking is the opposite of productivity, go check out my last post! I only have 6 points to share, but I really think they can help increase your productivity, especially at work.
If you want to eliminate multitasking in the workplace and have a more productive day at work, check out these six tips that can help combat the multitasking problem.
Tip 1: Mix Your Activities
Sometimes there will be instances where you have to multitask.
Either that or you are just starting this transformation from a multitasker to a single tasker, so you will need to learn the difference between the two.
That will take time. And you may have to still multitask in the beginning.
If you do, then you will want to make sure you are mixing two things at once that have the perfect balance of simplicity and complexity.
The sweet spot is when you mix high cognitive activities with more physical tasks that your brain can complete on autopilot.
Examples of cognitive activities: writing, emailing, anything that requires complex thinking and judgement
You can go for a walk while you are outlining a presentation. You can listen to music without words as you read. You can even talk to your mom on the phone while you make macaroni and cheese.
The point is, if you have to multitask, make sure you are mixing auto-pilot taks with more cognitive ones. Making sure you don’t pair multiple cognitives tasks together can result in better outcomes overall!
Tip 2: Learn to Say No
Let’s think back for a second. If you are doing work, what is the reason you find yourself switching over to additional tasks. Like what made typing my lesson plans out so horrible that I found myself scrolling Twitter instead?
I realized that I was just taking on way too many things at once.
Not only was I taking on too much for me to handle, but I was also just saying yes to every minimal detail that was asked of me. Looking back I can see that this was the case because I had made myself known as the “yes girl” in the hall. I didn’t mind it, I love helping others, but I had to learn How to Say No.
On top of completing all of the little things I had said I would do, I also had to finish my lesson plans for the rest of the week. That was the only goal or intention I had originally set for myself. But when I had signed myself up to do about 5 other things, I found myself completely uninterested in all of it.
(Hench my Twitter spree)
By simply saying no to additional things you are creating less of a task list to do for yourself. Then you can better allocate the necessary time to projects you do want to work on, and can hopefully fight those urges to scroll on your phone!
Tip 3: Surround Yourself with the Best Tools
You might be suffering from the need to multitask by using the wrong tools to do your work.
If you are surrounding yourself with tools that bring distractions with them, you may want to reevaluate their position in your work. Maybe you should consider in order to eliminate multitasking in the workplace, you may have to eliminate them!
I learned it’s not best that I respond to emails on my iPad. Because I get my Instagram notifications sent to my iPad I was constantly getting distracted with life videos and feed uploads.. I had to make the cognitive decision to only respond to emails on my computer. That small change of tools I use, made all the difference in the world.
This leads directly into our next point!
Tip 4: Turn It Off
Seems simple right? To turn off the electronics and accessories you don’t need, while you are at work. But how many of us actually do it?
How many of us turn our cell phone completely off when we are in a meeting? Or don’t respond to texts throughout the work day? I know I did the exact opposite!
We are so addicted to these tiny screens in our pockets that it’s almost impossible to imagine we can get anything done without them!
You can adjust this tip to fit those whose lifestyles have to have a phone! By simply turing off your email, message, and other notifications, you won’t be distracted by them as they come in. I personally turn my phone to night mode when I am working, that way I can still receive alerts, calls, and texts, but I’m not interrupted each time!
Just like with my iPad and other devices, you can change how you are notified, if you want to be notified at all. So see! You can turn your phone off without actually turning it off. It’s just beneficial to your productivity if you aren’t having to multitask between your job and your phone!
Tip 5: Meaningless Interruptions
When you refuse to split up your time, you are setting yourself up on the patch to success and productivity. On the other hand, the more you open yourself up to multitasking, the more you are welcoming meaningless interruptions.
These could be brought on by a friend, coworker, notification, additional assignment. Anything, you name it and it can distract you.
But when you make a conscious effort to not let the meaningless interruptions affect your concentration, you are eliminating any need to multitask! Isn’t that the whole point!
Tip 6: You Must Break the Habit
Multitasking is a habit you are going to have to actively break. Regardless of how you got into it, whether your surroundings or your terrible time management skills, it’s hard to get yourself out.
It takes work and time to form habits that are great additions to your productivity levels. If your current workplace also instills a lot of multitasking habits, it may be even more difficult!
You might even want to invest in additional resources that can help you stay productive. If you don’t have a planner, you should read about how having one can increase your productivity, at an incredible rate! It might also lead you to wanting to live an organized life, which goes hand in hand (in hand) with productivity and effectiveness.
Still not convinced that multitasking is killing your productivity? Check it out and let me know what you think!