On Multitasking

by Jeremy Graves

 

This article is part of Pivot’s Training series, and was inspired by a Costco article.

Multitasking! It’s one of the things we pride ourselves on… “I’m a champion multitasker!” While on the phone, you are checking your email, responding to texts and enjoying a mid-afternoon snack. We can be distracted, unfocused and a bit scatterbrained when we are multitasking. In some ways, we have lost the ability to focus, make eye contact and really listen to people.

Here are some helpful tips related to multitasking:

Align your mind and body. Focus your thoughts on the person or task in front of you. Give them the time and attention that they deserve.

Start a system. Block potential distractions before they occur, such as auditory pings and visual pop-ups… it will make you more focused rather than being constantly interrupted.

Take a lunch break. Don’t just “have lunch.” Leave your desk, take a break, interact with your colleagues or just get some fresh air. Studies suggest that people who work through lunch actually accomplish less throughout the day.

Designate task time. Don’t let email, texts, or social media in general overrun your day. Designate two or three times throughout the day to check it, then get back to your more pressing projects and clients.

Leave the office at the office. Easier said than done, but if you don’t allow yourself time to clear your mind, there is no room for new ideas to enter in. Studies show that relaxing can actually increase your overall productivity.

Be present. When enjoying a true-to-life conversation, make it free of social media and other distractions. Nothing takes the place of good eye contact, a hearty laugh and being in the moment to enjoy each other’s company.

Focus on the single task at hand. Commit to the choices you’ve made and address your next task after working on the existing one. Designate a timeframe, so you don’t have to feel pressure to complete the task all at once. Apply this to your work, relationships and hobbies.

Enjoy your day, one experience at a time!

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