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Taming the beast

Multitasking is not everybody's forte. Here is a lowdown on how to do it right

We all wish that we have 26 hours in a day to augment our efficiency, bring on excellence in each task and do justice to our work/business or rather a number of businesses? Don’t we?  Well, running against time is not everybody’s forte and the few who want to toe the line should know that holding two many water melons at a time implies a great effort of balance; as there is fear of some slipping out nonetheless in the struggle to hold them evenly. The quest to perfect the art of multi-tasking is never ending as there is no science to it, but only right effort. Let us see some popular ways of doing it.

Prioritising your work

As a top honcho, you have to sit between meetings while taking faxes, receive calls and even receive guests, conduct interviews, attend a sales call, hop for a quick lunch to save time that can be utilised on some other job etc. So, you are bogged down by the weight of completing too much work in too less time? In short, are you always burnt out?

Well, you will not feel the heat of multi-tasking if instead of viewing it as a burden; you view it as a challenge. Work will become fun and light and you will feel cherished at the end of the day and applaud yourself for being a Hercules.

So, start with prioritising your work. Make a list of the tasks you need to do on priority and the others that you can blow off. Rehearse in your mind which would help performance or even write it down. As they say, do not keep all your eggs in one basket, so compartmentalise each task so as to do justice to each of them.

Plunge in your task

Engross in your task so as to give it 100 per cent in face of multiple tasks but keep other things in the corner of your mind somewhere so that you can switch over to other tasks and then come back to the first one as and when required; your energy should be live-wire; plug in or plug out instantly. In doing so, you will not only feel mentally light but will have the satisfaction of a job well done moreover; you will also be able to do justice to each job separately.

Compare old tasks with new one

When you have a new task in hand, a comparison with something similar you have done in the past will help. Timers and alarms – are also very effective. "The alarm does not have to carry any information, just be a reminder that something has to be done. Your personal secretary can be a good alarm too. An interruption breaks your train of thoughts and initiates a recall of what else needs to be done.

Shishir Sharan, CEO and Director, reqSmart shares, “Multi-tasking by definition is the process of doing multiple tasks at the same time, thus saving time. We several times multi-task at home – switch on the geyser, while finishing some early morning mail before leaving for office, while also getting some scrambled eggs prepared – so quickly after we are out from a good bath, breakfast is ready, and the laptop bag is packed and we are ready to go to office after breakfast.

Multi-tasking can save a lot of time and money. Multitasking is both a science and an art, and you can handle more as you practice. A lot of times choosing tasks that can be done together to save time, is intuitive and at times, you can get suggestions from co-workers or your boss, who have done it in the past.

The caution while multi-tasking is to handle only as much as you can handle effectively. Too much of multi-tasking can also cause pain.

Another caution while doing multi-tasking is ensuring your mind is not divided to such an extent that you deliver multiple half-done jobs, or low quality jobs.

A lot of us do multi-tasking without even realising it. Meeting a client for lunch, having a snack while reading a report, or working on your laptop when you are on a flight or train, are all simple examples of multi-tasking. Multi-tasking in the workplace, if done right, can save a lot of resource, and is definitely a big winner for any yourself and organisation."

Conclusion: I have a little suggestion from my own experiences that I have accumulated after watching these young CEOs. Well, I call them young not because of their age, but because of their ability to beat the biological clock. No matter how old one is, revamping physical and mental set ups by engaging in activities to keep oneself happy and fit always helps. So, start the process if you haven’t already. You may also challenge your brains by engaging in games of mind. I know, the top level management plays golf, cricket, pool, squash, tennis etc not just for building their muscles alone but for keeping their mind razor sharp. Exercise in any form is stress buster and fills one with excitement. An excited mind can perform jobs efficiently and help in sailing through the day without a trace of exhaustion.

A fit boss, who can multi-task with élan is also an example unto himself and to his employees as well. How about taking a leaf or two from the sketch and redefine your life?

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