8 Ways To Effectively Multi-Task

We’ve all got a lot to do.  As life moves along, there’s always many tasks to accomplish and goals to achieve.  Is there ever a time where you don’t have more than one task to complete?  As tasks come from so many different areas including work, home, kids, education, and otherwise, I’m sure the answer if of course not!

When you’ve got so much going on, it’s easy to let something slip by or let things get out of control.  But, it doesn’t have to be that way.  If life has given you many things to juggle at once, here are some ways to keep things under control:

Write down your task list

This one may seem really basic, or if you’re really crazy, you may say that there’s no time for it, but writing down your task (or typing it into your phone, just so long as it’s down somewhere that you’ll look at) is key.  Keep your task list together, and you’ll be forced to look at what you have to do regularly which can prevent things from getting forgotten about.

Prioritize your tasks

Figure out a way to determine what tasks need to be done now, which can wait, and which may not even need to be done as time goes on.  You’ll want to update this, because a task that is low priority today may change to a higher priority down the line, especially if deadlines are involved.

Communicate expectations

If you said you’re going to do something, then make sure people know what you’re going to do and when.  If things change, let them know that as well.  I’ve found in my professional career as a project manager that nine times out of ten, when something happens that makes a delivery date late, the

If only my life were this organized!person on the receiving end is just as or more upset by not knowing in advance of the change than the actual change itself.

Hold yourself accountable

If you say you’re going to do something, make sure you do it, especially if you promise it to someone else.  I have a family member who has a reputation for breaking promise after promise, and it all stems from the fact that she’s never held herself accountable to deliver on what she promised.

Track changes

When you finish a task, make sure you take it off your list.  When you have something new, add it to your list. Re-organize your list if you need to.  Whatever the case and however you track your tasks, always make sure that your list is current and easy to reference.

Set milestones

When you have something big to do, you might want to break it into smaller tasks.  This way you’ll have some milestone tasks.  This is really important to understand your progress along the way.

Always finish

Many times we do something that takes a lot of time, only to miss a step at the end.  This can be more frustrating than not doing the job at all.  If you do something and there’s clean-up required, make sure to clean up!  If you organize a committee to put on an event, make sure to send a thank you note!  Many times, hard work goes unrecognized.  This often has to do with the fact that many people don’t take care of those last few details.   Plus, when you’re done, you get to cross your task off the list knowing that you’re done!

Celebrate success

When you finish a job or a task, make sure to celebrate the success.  Doing so will provide self recognition for the work you’ve done.

If you’ve got a lot to do, things can get overwhelming very quickly.  Get things under control.  Otherwise, you’ll find that the you get less done when it’s most important to be efficient.  By organizing your tasks and going through the steps above, you can make sure that you handle things smoothly, efficiently, and effectively.

Readers, when you have many things to do, how do you make sure to stay focused and on track?  Have you ever completely had things gone off the rails?  Please share your experiences and tips in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “8 Ways To Effectively Multi-Task”

  1. Good advice! Ever since moving and switching jobs, I’ve been using lists more than ever. It really helps to see things on paper, put them into priority, and then break them down into actionable steps to follow for the day.

  2. I don’t know where I read it but I recently read a thing on the internet that said, basically, to be super productive don’t multitask….umm…?? While I get that some people aren’t good at it, and may ultimately ruin productivity I am the queen of multitasking and is exactly how I stay super productive!

    • The ‘don’t multi-task’ edict may be right for some, but I think that would really depend on the person. My article was more meant for bigger tasks that I think everybody goes through. We all have to juggle the day to day!

  3. I agree Money Beagle. I always list all tasks I need to finish so that I can prioritize which task needs more attention and help me figure out what I am still missing out. And, one other thing that helps me is the use of Google Calendar because this app makes multitasking easier to do.

  4. I like to think of myself as highly productive……and I agree with Catherine (while fully recognizing that everyone is different, and what works for one doesn’t work for another). I have my list of things to do, and I tend to want to just plow through one task before moving to the next. If I give something my complete attention, it tends to work out much better.

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