This is not your average multi-tasking tips article. No one can effectively multi-task without hurting productivity, yet it is one of the most highly sought after skills in candidates. Rather than multi-tasking at work, it's far better to work on and perfect your task management abilities.
Task management is key to productivity in the workplace. Whether you're in an office or in a high traffic storefront, managing your priorities is essential to making it though the day and accomplishing what needs to get done.
Start A List Over Coffee
This is probably the most effective way to organize tasks. While enjoying your cup of coffee first thing in the morning, make a short mental list of the three things you absolutely must get done today. Why only three? Once you get to work, you'll probably find 2-3 more tasks that need to be added. This keeps your goals manageable under changing circumstances. Start your day by quickly prioritizing your goals.
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Write Down Your List
Once you arrive at work, grab a Post-It note or small notepad and write down your list of 3-5 high priority tasks. Human beings retain the things we need to know far better when we write them down and place them in view. This will hold you accountable for organizing tasks, and it only takes a minute of your time. Write down your goals for the day to keep yourself organized.
Segment Your Day
If you have certain tasks that you have to do throughout the day, segment your time throughout the day. For example, if you have a near constant flow of email or phone calls to make it will be far more effective if you spend the first 10 minutes of every hour to check and reply to email or take 30 minutes to make your phone calls every three hours. Segment your tasks throughout your day to keep your tasks organized.
How To Multi-task At Work
This is the anti-multi-task tip you never expected. The key to multi-tasking at work is to NOT DO IT. If you have prioritized your day and segmented your time, you should have no problem tackling each task individually. If interrupted, there is no harm in asking to finish what you're doing first before helping someone else. Organizing your tasks before you dive into them and organizing your day before you start will maximize your productivity at work.