Often we find ourselves in a situation where we have mountains of work piled up and no clue as to how to get about it. Such situations may seem intimidating and finishing the workload in the given time a daunting task.
In today’s fast-paced world keeping up with a balanced life seems like a dream. However, to not lose your mind and focus you need to master the art of multitasking.
Multitasking means juggling multiple tasks simultaneously. The term was first published in an IBM paper that described the capabilities of IBM System/360 in 1965. Since then it has become a frequently used phrase in context with humans as well.
Handling many responsibilities simultaneously is hard but can be mastered with a few steps. Let’s deep dive into mastering the art of multitasking –
- Make a to-do list & Prioritize tasks – Creating a list of tasks to be completed at the end of the day helps to set the tone of the day in advance. Prioritizing the tasks according to their importance, urgency, the time required, and dependency ranking them in order of what is to be completed first and what can be done with the least urgency helps you plan your day.
- Club tasks – Depending on the list, check whether you can club together two or three tasks that are your routine or habitual activities. For example – You can club your morning coffee by checking your emails, texts or important notifications. Or make necessary phone calls during your commute to & from work (caution – follow the traffic rules for your safety, hence use a headset or Bluetooth in the car while taking any calls)
- Reduce the clutter – Turning off any distractions while working helps reduce the clutter and saves time. The best solution is to turn off the app notifications that distract you from the task at hand.
- Automate – The usage of technology can make your tasks simpler and save you time & effort. Connected or smart homes give you the ease of getting your tasks done without any human intervention. Make maximum use of this technology.
For example – with smart devices and IoT, you can do tasks like doing your laundry, cleaning your house, voice-enabled search to save typing time, and using mobile-controlled devices like lights, fans, air conditioners, and cars. These gadgets make your life simpler and reduce time consumption in mundane activities.
- Delegate – Running an office or home is a shared responsibility and hence delegating tasks to your teammates or family members helps you get them done faster. With good strategic and managerial skills, the delegation of tasks can be easily achieved.
- Downtime – We are not robots and hence require some downtime or time off from work to relax & rejuvenate the mind and body. Taking some downtime helps you regain your focus and replenishes your energy which helps your plan ahead and perform the activities with renewed vigour.
- Habit – Making multitasking a habit will take time but keeping at it continually will eventually lead to success. However, don’t beat yourself up about it. Forming a habit takes time and is a life-long process.
Thus the art of multitasking can be summarized in two words planning & control. Humans are not machines and hence cannot execute multitudes of tasks simultaneously. Hence, accepting this reality is important. But with practice, effort, and planning managing 2-3 tasks parallelly can be achieved.
MIT School of Distance Education is an institute engaged in the holistic development of working professionals. Hence along with academics, a focus on mental health and mental conditioning is necessary.
MITSDE Harbour is an initiative focused on helping students make positive changes in themselves to achieve their goals. It is an initiative for students beyond the usual periphery of the course.
The program helps to deal with stressful situations, provides guidance on techniques like time management, effective study, self-awareness, and coping strategies, and motivates you to always do your best despite any challenges you may face along the way.