There is a question that often comes up during our training sessions about multitasking: "How do we stop it?". Here are some tips and tricks that our customers really put in place to stop multitasking or at leat slow it down.
The first thing to remember is that multitasking consists in starting one task, stoping it without having finished it yet, starting another task, and so on.
The perversity of the practice is as follows: everything is committed, but you can never conclude. How to do it?
Proposal #1: Treat your To-Do List differently
- Take a list of the tasks you have in progress.
- Mark the tasks where you miss an item to finish.
- Ask for missing items.
- While waiting for answers, work on tasks where you have all the elements, starting with the fastest/easiest to do.
In general, the effect is that you feel more efficient, as you finish things faster. Yes, the tasks completed are easier, but they will leave you intellectual capacity to focus on the most complicated ones.
Proposal #2: Isolate yourself!
- Realize Proposal #1
- When you have identified the tasks you need to focus on:
- Book a work slot in your calendar.
- Cut your email box for 2 hours.
- Put your phones on silence mode.
- Close the door of your office (if you are in an open space, book a meeting room).
In general, the effect is that you can focus intellectually on a particular task and perform it in good conditions. On the other hand, if you perform the easy tasks mentionned in Proposal #1, you will find that you will have increased even more your efficiency.
Proposal #3: Use appropriate visual management
Display in your office, or with a suitable computer tool, a Kanban Board. It is a table divided into 3 columns: tasks that are ready to start, those that are in progress, and those that are closed. The operation requires setting a limit of tasks in progress (talking about the tasks that require reflection).
When you set the current level of focus, you select the task on which you allow yourself to have a focus point. When this task is complete, it lands in the "Done" part of the file. You can then take a "To Do" task and put it in the "Doing" column.
To learn more about the way you could improve your project management, join us for a webinar on March 23rd.
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