We hear in the media, on television shows, and even from our own mouths that multi-tasking is the way to go if you want to be successful and involved. We hear phrases like “There are never enough hours in the day.” and “I just can’t do it all.” The truth is often times the art of multi-tasking can be more detrimental than productive, unless however, you know how to balance both the advantages and disadvantages to make it all work.
Multi-tasking can be easy for some and quite impossible for others. Whether you qualify yourself as being a great multi-tasker or not, here are some thoughts to think about when multi-tasking becomes inevitable:
- Start with sticky notes. I constantly keep a to-do list on my desk to make sure I don’t forget something. Your brain stays very busy during the day; help it out a little with small reminders.
- Don’t get in over your head. Never multi-task if you see your work failing. A few months ago, I was doing so much that my work suffered because I was splitting my time on too many things. If you are spending too much time on numerous projects, you can never commit quality time to one specific project. It may be time to start saying “No” if you find yourself overwhelmed and not happy with your project’s finished product.
- Take time. There was an instance recently where I got confused on two separate students and relayed the wrong information because I didn’t take the time to figure out the situation before I started sending information in emails. Don’t rush into getting something done because you find yourself behind; always take the time you need to understand your problem before fixing it.
- Realize that being Super Woman/Man is not always a good thing. As stated in this article, multi-tasking has actually shown negative results on our brains. What we think makes us so beneficial to our company can also actually be the very reason we are not always at our best. You really are not meant to do it all, all the time.
I often times thought I was the Queen of Multi-tasking, until my work suffered because I had my hand in “too many jars” and made silly, unnecessary errors. If it takes a little longer to complete a task, then so be it. We all know multi-tasking is inevitable. But we also have the choice to make sure it doesn’t overcome us and affect our work reputation.
Multi-tasking: do you use your whole brain or just half of it?
Brittany Baughman is the Community Relations Coordinator of Webster University in Greenville. She is responsible for the recruiting and public relations activities of the campus, as well as managing social media, planning all campus events, and implementing local marketing initiatives. She and her husband, Jonathan, live in Greenville and stay busy spoiling their 1-year-old Lab/Spaniel mix, Darla. Brittany also serves on the 2014 PULSE Marketing Committee as the YP Perspective blogger.