How to do effective multitasking


Multitasking is almost always unproductive, in all those cases, where you are involved/engaged/need-to-focus on very important tasks/ issues/problems and where the stakes are fair to very high and critical.

Yet it is a skill that must be learned, practiced, used and mastered – for various situations, times and purposes.

In this article, We will try to clarify, when it is great to be laser-focused and when to be multitasking for phenomenal productivity and also When +How to multitask effectively, and also why multitasking is stressful and non-productive in most of the time.

Why & When We Consciously and Subconsciously Multitask

1.When we are bored, maybe with the monotony of tasks or maybe because we don't see any value in what we are doing or maybe when we are stuck
2.When we believe the myth that multitasking is a wonderful productivity tool & that most successful do multitask
3.When we are mentally & emotionally overwhelmed with a large number of must to-do-list of tasks
4.When we are actually, again consciously or sub-consciously trying to distract ourselves from the tasks needed to be done yet totally without passion – [ one example, We don't relish doing one particular work, so we watch TV at the same time to make it seem less tedious. The problem is, it takes us longer to do the work, and we do it poorly. Plus, we don't really enjoy the TV show because we keep missing the best parts]
5.When we are listening to a slow talker, we feel we can check emails and message someone, simultaneously - It's because our minds can think we can hear far more words a minute than someone else can speak. If we are YOLO generation with FOMO syndrome* [read my blog on this] – we constantly feel, that we have so much to do, why waste any time - So, while we're on the phone listening to someone, why not use that extra brain power to email a response
6.We have something very interesting to look forward to after these couple of task is over and we can't wait to be enjoying that prospective event
7.We are hard-pressed with the deadlines, and we are scared of the losses, therefore we start working simultaneously on multiple tasks
8.We are impatient by nature
9.We are mentally and emotionally distracted, by some significant events/ situations/causes happening in this or other aspects of life
10.We want everything fast
11.We want to prove that we are very competent
12.We don't see any value in doing the things in basic ways
13.Because it is the cool and the in-thing
14.Because, our perception is, that our Smart Role-Models OR everyone else are doing it
15.And we feel proud of what all we have achieved through multitasking in the past, although, we have never analyzed the after-effects[wastages of resources in rework/correction/rejections etc] of our multitasking in the past

When should we multi-task, without major losses, misses & mishaps

In this I can give few examples only – as there can never be any generalized law, concept or principal for an ideal multi-tasking occasion => please choose and pick what is suited to you & create your own ways.

A rule of thumb could be – Multitasking should be done - When you doing something that is so automatic and you have mastered that art – you don't need to actually consciously pay attention to that [there would be few exceptions to these as well]
I.You are brushing, eating, dressing, being driven by a driver + you are listening to a new language tape for sub-conscious recording and exposure
II.You are walking on a safe route, while listening to meditation music to calm yourself
III.You are in the nature and you use the peace it gives, to introspect and identify your dreams, your passions and planning how would you do it
IV.You are in a party enjoying, yet you are identifying, who you are going to be networking
V.You are eating in a cool manner and visualizing, yourself successfully delivering a key-note address
VI.You are lying down, in the bed, before sleep, you are meditating
VII.You are watching TV/News and reading newspaper
VIII.You are surfing through your Facebook posts and catching up with friends on phone, whom you have not touched base in long time

Using the power of multitasking – without the risks

1.Use your loss of patience to your advantage -Create short deadlines

2.Cut all meetings in half

3.Give yourself a third of the time you think you need to accomplish to accomplish anything, use the power and productivity of deadlines


5.Take advantage of your momentum, when things are moving fast - focus on them accomplishing more

6.Also remember that we're not perfect, it is perfectly alright to do little planned multitasking

7.Do when you get stuck – try out different ideas

8.Learn the art of managing chaos from multitasking, as you would face many situations – when multiple things go wrong and you need to attend each one of them

9.Use the technology to delegate the multitasking jobs, that you would be able to review, audit and edit later

10.Use the learnings of handling and switching-off the distractions from multitasking
11.Learn the art of switching over fast, from multitasking
12.Learn to procrastinate productively* read my blog on this
13.Eat that frog, do the difficult things first
14.Understand, admit & accept why multitasking is bad
15.Plan for your own multitasking occasions, Don't Maximize Your Multitasking - Optimize It
16.Use multitasking to sharpen your creativity
17.Always use the multitasking hour for a break between tough yet most important tasks

18. Don't lose Focus from your most important dreams and accomplishments 19. Schedule your most productive time for the most Intensive Tasks 20. Learn to Identify and Use all Available Resources optimally 21. Break Down Tasks & Bundle Related Tasks Together

22.Try Different Productivity Tools and Systems

23. Choose What to Multitask and What Not to Multitask

24.Choose tasks which are routine, familiar, or fluent to multitask AND OFF-COURSE LOW VALUE/LESS STAKE

25.Remember to take short breaks, relax, stretch, etc. while completing the important work

26.Work in advance, If you know there will be a big rush in the afternoon, start early to set up and prepare

27.Allow extra time

28.Eliminate unnecessary tasks, Simplify tasks you can't eliminate

29.Keep a selection of smaller projects or simpler tasks around to fill gaps in a larger project

30.Use wait time efficiently

31.Shift Goals when you are not feeling productive

When & Why Multi-Tasking could be Disastrous

1.The multitasking myth - doing just one thing at a time seems downright luxurious, even wasteful
2.Research shows that it's not nearly as efficient as we like to believe, and can even be harmful to our health
3.Rethink the way you work, socialize, and live your life.
4.You're not really multitasking, When it comes to attention and productivity, our brains have a finite amount and single track – Don't believe me – Just try imagining, recalling or being Sad/Excited/Being Thought-less simultaneously
5.You can only think casually on two three things at a time – BUT IN NANO/MICRO SECOND PHASE – YOU CAN ONLY FOCUS ON ONE SINGLE THOUGHT
6.What actually we do, when we think we are multitasking is Moving back and forth between several tasks
7.If you keep track properly – you find that doing this back and forth actually wastes time, reduces productivity, and zaps your energy as your attention is expended on the act of switching gears
8.You can do only mediocre level of tasks qualitatively and can never achieve excellence while multi-tasking – therefore the competition will always beat you hands down
9.It slows you down – think of the period, it takes your brain to go back from 100kmp to Zero and from 1st gear to 100kmp in different task
10.Multitasking never saves time, in fact, it will take you longer to finish two projects when you're jumping back and forth than it would to finish each one separately

  • 11. You would be making hell of a lot more mistakes
12.You would be stressing whether you realize it or not
13.You are so focused on the tasks and materialistic and external accomplishments – that you miss out in enjoying the journey of life
14.Your overload your memory ram so much, that you would find it difficult to recall things at the time of need
15.Multi-tasking is a real relationships killer – there are many more divorces and separations, because of this
16.Because you are doing many things together, you may get into unhealthy habits like overeating/very fast eating/junk and fast food eating etc
17.It can make you overeat
18.You never become good in any particular skill or area
19.Your creativity takes a back-seat
20.You can't get into first time right
21.It is dangerous & life threatening for you and others, in many of the situations
22.It often happens that we meet a new person and instantly forget their name – it's because our minds are distracted and are unable to process or retain that new information
23.More Multitasking = More Mistakes = Moe Cost
24.It actually causes Anxiety
26.You never feel fulfilled when you multitask as a habit in long run

The advantages of Single-Tasking

1.It will be delightful

2.You will make significant progress on challenging projects

3.Your stress level will dropped dramatically

4.You will develop no tolerance for time-wasters

5.You will develop tremendous patience for meaningful and production useful and enjoyable

6.You will have fewer unfinished projects

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