Tackle your to-do list by multi-tasking

September 3, 2010

How many times a week do you find yourself talking on the phone, sending an e-mail, and sneaking a bite of your lunch at the same time? The answer is probably a lot. We’ve become a workforce of multi-taskers, people who are doing two to three things at any given time, either out of habit or pure necessity.

The problem with this is that some people may try to pile on too many responsibilities and overwork themselves in the process. It’s important to slow down and manage tasks effectively to accomplish more and reduce stress levels.

The first thing you can do is try to find your balance. Easier said than done, right? But the fact is, only you know how much you can handle and juggle on your plate. Use your strengths, but also know your limitations.

Know when not to multitask. Some projects will require your undivided attention, and therefore, splitting your time with other tasks is not appropriate, especially if it negatively impacts your progress on the urgent project.

Organize, organize, organize. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day, that we have a hard time even thinking about future projects/responsibilities. But something as simple as making yourself a to-do list at the end of the day for the following work day will help you start the day off on the right foot.

Keep track of your schedule. A calendar is essential to keeping your deadlines and appointments on track. Use a headset so you can free up your hands to work on other things while you talk.

Unplug. Bundle tasks like listening to your voicemail or checking e-mails to certain times of the day. Doing so frees up your time and helps you avoid the urge to answer every small task that comes your way.

Learn to delegate. Often we have the mentality that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. This is not the case in a work environment, and a good leader will assign tasks with specific instructions and deadlines. It does mean letting go of some of the control, but you’ll avoid burnout and help your teammates and/or employees grow professionally.

What are some things you do to help yourself tackle all of the items on your to-do list? Share them here in the comments section.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Birmingham, Alabama. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @dalecarnegieala.

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