Effectively Manage Your Multitasking Day
By Michael Guld
sometimes feel as though you’re on a treadmill in your professional
life? You were coasting along comfortably at a “five” setting, yet
the speed just bumped up to 10. While you may be able to keep up
briefly, you’re exhausted just trying to maintain. You constantly
fear being thrown off and everything crashing down.
the way many feel in their current jobs. Due to budget cutbacks and
corporate downsizing, less people are being asked to do more; this
strains their time, drains their energy and leads to great
frustration and stress. While you may not be able to control what’s
being thrown at you or asked of you, there are ways to effectively
manage your multitasking day.
you must admit and acknowledge the three truths…
You will never get it all done - While many feel there is not
enough time in the day to get everything done, it’s not actually a
“supply” problem. We have the same amount of hours that everyone
else has and has always had. It’s a “demand” problem. Even if you
work 24/7, there will still be unfinished business; things to do,
people to see, reports to prepare, and e-mails and publications to
Your day will not always go the way it was planned – but that’s
OK. Your success at the end of the day should not be based upon
whether the schedule you set was followed, but on how productive you
were leading to your end goals. Just as a satellite navigation
system recalculates as you go off course, you will have to
continually reprioritize to adjust to changing situations.
Everything takes longer than you think it will – but that’s
OK, too. The high quality output you demand of yourself takes a
little longer to produce. If it’s on your schedule, it’s important
that you do the absolute best job you can; even if it means you
can’t get to everything else on your plate.
end of a long day, do you look at everything you accomplished or do
you focus on the incomplete to-do list? If you focus on the former,
you have a feeling of completeness and self-gratification for a day
well spent. If you focus on the latter, you focus on your
shortcomings, never feeling like you do a good job.
Effectively managing your multitasking day involves effectively
managing the following:
Effectively manage your goals: Before deciding on what to
work on, you need to know what you’re working for. If
you have not established your goals, you can’t celebrate when you
achieve one. The first step is to take a baseline snapshot of where
you spend your hours in a typical day and typical week and whether
it is leading you to reach your goals.
Effectively manage your priorities: The most important decisions
you make during the day are what actions to take and not to take.
This prioritization will determine where your time, energy and focus
will be spent. Ask yourself “for every action taken or not taken
what is the intended result?” Life is about choices. In choosing
what to work on, you need to distinguish between the “urgent” and
the “important.” Start early working on the “urgent” before the
Effectively manage your focus: Your first goal is to filter the
noise, which is anything distracting to your task. Everyone
wants a piece of your time and attention, but not everyone is
entitled to a piece of your time and attention. Schedule time
for interruption and manage the time for the interruption. “Do you
have a minute?” rarely turns out to be “a minute.” You could
respond, “Yes, I have a minute … but it will be after 2 p.m.” Turn
up your personal and business spam filters that block anything that
steals our time and our attention. If the task is not
going to immediately make you more knowledgeable, make you more
money, save you time, or provide a worthwhile benefit, ignore it.
Effectively manage conversation: While the three most important
axioms in real estate are said to be location, location, location,
in business it’s communication, communication, communication.
When it comes to communication and managing conversation, it’s not
just what you say…it’s what people hear. Say yes slowly. While no
one task you agree to do takes that long, it’s when we agree to
multiple projects over and over again that the overwhelming feeling
Effectively manage expectations: Much stress in the workplace
can be reduced by effectively managing expectations. If you are
overwhelmed by having too much to do than you can possibly get done
within the time committed, determine the most important priorities
to complete and reset the deadlines with others.
Effectively manage technology: With all the new technologies
designed to save you time and to make you more efficient,
many feel more stressed than ever before because we are accessible
24/7. Also, we are now living in “drive-thru society,” and
everybody wants what they want, when they want it. Expectations in
communication response time have been raised, and due to e-mails and
texting, people not only expect replies, but quick replies. The
responses do not have to be long – “got it,” “no problem,” “will
call this afternoon to discuss” – but responding lets the sender
know you received the message. Don’t let your technology manage
Effectively manage organization: Being unorganized can lead to
feeling stressed and busier than you actually are. Organization is
a process, not an event, and it should be scheduled in as a part of
your day. Some people are naturally organized and others have to
work hard to stay ahead of the clutter. While some people are
filers and others pilers, your goal should be not to
touch each piece of paper more than one time.
Effectively manage your mind and emotions: Most people do not
mind working hard, but they resent worrying hard.
Feeling overwhelmed and overworked can lead to stress, however,
stress is not an absolute cause and effect. When you find
your mind and your emotions wandering to the dark side, think … “why
worry?” Instead of worrying, go back to the source causing
the worry (diagnosis) and write it down. Reset your priorities,
make a plan and take action to fix the conflict in your mind; manage
conversation and the expectations of others to give you time to get
back on track.
not a race to the finish line. Winners are not the ones who get it
all done. Winners are those who get the most out of everything they
do and make the biggest difference. While few people will go to
their grave saying, “I wish I would have worked more hours,” they
may say, “I wish I got more out of the hours I worked.” It’s not all
about making a good living … it’s about having a good life!
Wherever you put your time, your focus and your energy is where you
will get the greatest results.
Read other articles and learn more
about Michael Guld.
[This article is available at no-cost, on a non-exclusive basis.
Contact PR/PR at 407-299-6128 for details and