We often praise people who are great at multitasking, but the ability to do several things at once might not be as productive or as effective as it first sounds.
Off the back of the pandemic, attitudes towards the workplace have changed drastically. Generally speaking, we have become more self-aware about how much of ourselves we give to our day jobs, and have realised that a work-life balance is not only attainable but crucial to being a good worker or business owner.
In the same vein, we have come to understand the issue of burnout better. The idea of working ourselves to the point of self-destruction has slowly become less and less admirable, as mental health takes on a more important role in our working lives.
It makes sense, then, that multitasking is also taking a backseat in 2023.
Yes, the Devil Wears Prada image of a high-flying person balancing a coffee on a stack of papers and jumping from phone call to phone call is not actually indicative of talent or success. Sorry. You can blame Hollywood for that one.
Instead of trying to do everything all at once, taking a more structured, measured approach to your to-do list can actually make you more productive and, at the same time, stave off the dreaded burnout.
So, how do we go about it?
Most of us have a time of day when we are most productive or creative—so use this time appropriately. If you have creative tasks that need high energy and lots of ideas, consider doing them in the morning, or after lunch. Alternatively, if you know you’re an afternoon procrastinator, you might want to get the tasks you’re putting off out of the way in the morning so that they’re off your shoulders. And, while we don’t condone working overtime, if you’re in control of your hours, you might prefer to take a break in the afternoon and come back in the evening with a fresh head of ideas.
What you don’t want to do is to try and attack everything at once, or pick at your tasks like a fussy eater. Choose a task, allocate time for it, and get it done.
And the end of the day, we need time in order to thrive at our jobs. We’ll never be doing our best work, creating our best ideas or leading our teams with energy if we’re constantly firefighting all day, or being pulled this way and that by others. While we don't want to forgo our responsibility or stop helping others, by structuring your days and taking a one-task-at-a-time approach, you can at least make sure you remain in control of your time and have complete oversight over your workload.
As we settle into the new year, why not make the shift to unitasking and see how much more productive you feel after a month, then two months, then a year?
At Remotify, we’re all about making your work life better as a founder, business leader, or individual contributor—whether that’s tips on wellness, productivity, equality or freedom. Want to find out how we can do it for you? Get in touch with a member of our friendly team today!