We live in a busy world that requires of all us to do more and faster. Nowadays multitasking is one of the skills everyone should have, and many of us think that they are really productive multitaskers. And if it's really so, then why don't manage to accomplish several tasks and have more free time? It's because you don't multitask the right way! These tips will help you multitask better.
First of all, forget about such thing as multitasking, because it's really not natural for our brain. It's an invented word used to describe the process of shifting attention from one task to another, but in fact, brain can't pay attention to two or three different things at one time. It needs time to shift the focus from one thing to another, and although it doesn't require much time and you don't notice it, the truth is that nobody is multitasking. We just share attention between different tasks.
One more thing to remember before we start, is that genuine multitasking is really not for everyone. Only about 5 percent of people can really multitask, the rest 95 percent just learn how to keep in mind different things and pay attention to all of them. And if you're reading this article, you're one of those 95 percent of people. However, you can significantly improve your multitasking, if you do the following things.
#1 Work on related tasks together. Think of your own brain as a computer. When you open 15 different windows and try to switch from one program to another, you find out that your computer has a big tendency to lock up and slow down its performance. Human's brain also can't work with so many tasks, and when it's overloaded, it uses only one channel. But even this channel can be used more effectively, if you have to accomplish tasks that are related. You don't need to switch your attention between totally different things, and thus you will save time.
#2 Make a to-do list. The success to multitasking is remembering about the things that need to be done. A small to-do list will help you. First of all, write down the most important tasks, and as you accomplish them, you may devote your attention to other things.
#3 Keep tracking your time. The problem of multitasking is that we do more, but we don't save time. As the result, we spend as much time, as if we'd done all tasks one by one. It's because we don't track our time for things that we do. For instance, you check your e-mail and at the same time you're on Facebook. As the result, you spend twice more time for checking e-mail than if you'd devoted your attention to one thing only. Also remember about such things as time consumers (social media, games), that waste time.
#4 Reboot your brain. Finnish scientific research has showed, that people who work 11 hours per day have a 2.5 higher risk of suffering from depression than people who work only 7-8 hours per day. Brain has got capacity of working effectively only for 40-50 hours a week, and in the meantime it needs rebooting. Never forget about an hour-long break for lunch and take 15-minute breaks during the day every two hours. Also don't multitask longer than 25-50 minutes, then take breaks for that and do one task only.
#5 Never multitask when you have to devote all your attention to one thing. Some tasks require all your attention. And if you start multitasking, then you will inevitably make many mistakes. No matter how much you want to do several things at one time, don't do that when you're concentrated on very important things.
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