Muti-tasking is thankfully becoming a negative term in enlightened, evolved leadership circles. Unfortunately, these circles make up a mere 20% of workplaces. The majority of organizations still revere the so-called multi-tasking “skill,” falsely believing it leads to accomplishment and efficiency. You can’t be a detail-oriented multi-tasker.
You’ve observed and participated in this environment many times before…probably still do. People talk to each other’s turned faces while emailing, texting, memo-writing, document-drafting, etc. Everyone’s in frantic race-mode, juggling multiple activities and equating busyness with productivity. The results: Mistakes, misunderstandings, and malaise – that feeling of debility, discomfort, depression and fatigue.
To prevent avoidable mistakes and improve your job performance:
- Focus your attention on completing one task, or an identified portion of one task, at a time.
- Break up large tasks into manageable chunks and take 10-minute micro-breaks between 30-minute uninterrupted work sessions on those tasks.
- Tackle tasks you’re able to complete, or otherwise collaborate and delegate.
- Concentrate on the conversation you are having or the activity you are doing. Avoid distractions like technology by silencing the phone and telling colleagues you’ll be available in X amount of minutes.
- Stay present and alert by making eye contact and verbally as well as nonverbally connecting with the person you’re talking to.
- Set up sound organizational systems and design your office to increase efficiency — have everything you need for a meeting, a call, or a project in front of you so you’re able to pay full attention, focus and concentrate.
Lee Broekman is a communication coach and trainer. Her company Organic Communication, brings interactive, never boring, always edifying keynote presentations, retreats, seminars and CLEs, like Time and Memory Management for Executives: How to Boost Your Productivity and Maximize Your Resources, to your firm or organization.