How to Multitask at Work – 7 Tips to Improve Your Multitasking skills


Last Updated: August 26, 2022
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What is Multitasking?

Multitasking is the process of doing multiple tasks at the same time.

The perspective about multitasking differs from person to person. While some will say it is a piece of cake there are some who cannot even imagine doing two tasks at once. However, whichever side of the fence you’re on, you will agree that in today’s world, multitasking is a necessity. 

Scenarios, where deadlines seem to overlap, aren’t new to us. We have lots to do and lack the luxury to do each at a time. This is why we need to work some multitasking magic in order to come through for our tasks. If multitasking gets overwhelming for you, follow these simple tips to up your multitasking game.

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1. Make a task list.

wiritng a list

Before you even think of juggling work, it’s important for you to know exactly what needs to be juggled. Keep track of your tasks by maintaining a task list or a calendar. You can use any tool of your choice. We recommend you go analogue with pen and paper. You can also mix things up once in a while with apps like Google Keep to keep your lists synced across all devices. 

Madhur Kathuria, CEO of AgiVetta Consulting says, “Have a to-do item list and decide the importance of your tasks at hand. Classify according to urgency or importance – this model will give you a better idea of what needs to be done immediately and what can wait.”

2. Prioritise this list.

Once your task list is ready, you need to add details about when the task is due. If the task at hand is huge, for example – write a book, break it into small chunks and set deadlines for each one. Add a note about it next to the task and re-arrange them in chronological order. Now that the what and when is ready, let’s get to the how. 

3. Set a pace.


The first two steps are something everyone might follow, the difference in efficiency starts with this third step. If you are multitasking for the first time, find two or three tasks that you can club together from your task list. Maybe you can answer a few calls while you are preparing monthly reports or working on a task that has been repetitive for some time. Or you can simultaneously work on answering your e-mail at the same time as you listen to an important podcast or audiobook. With time you might be able to handle a lot more. 

4. Practice the Pomodoro technique.

Some people also prefer to call this process task-switching rather than multi-tasking since the human brain, unlike a computer, cannot manage to handle too many things at once. The task switching is known to boost creativity and help people find solutions for the problem they are working on. The Pomodoro technique is quite simple. You work without distractions for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break before starting the process again. You can use the 25 minutes to work on multiple small tasks or a major one and switch on the next one. 

5. Use technology.

person using mobile phone

Apps like Google calendar or Trello schedule tasks for you and at the same time give you a small nudge when it is time to work on something. Just remember that whenever you schedule these on an app, leave some extra time for you as a buffer. You never know when an “emergency” request might land on your plate which might require your immediate attention. This way you are on track with your tasks and you have accounted for any impromptu tasks that come your way. 

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6. Stay clear of distraction.

Easier said than done. Yes. It’s nearly impossible not to keep checking social media or take care of a  personal task like paying bills or filling up your online grocery cart while at work. After all, we are multi-taskers! However, it’s best you schedule these tasks. Leave them for your commute home or during lunchtime. 

“Take your work into a conference room or other quiet space. Turn off email and text alerts and, if your role allows, only check your messages two or three times a day. Reserve your personal calls and errands for the lunch hour,” says Sudeshna Datta, co-founder of Absolutdata Analytics. 

7. Delegate wherever possible.

people using laptops

Even with multi-tasking, there is only so much you can do before it all goes to ruin. If there is a task that can be delegated to someone else, do it. Once you delegate, the only tasks on your to-do list that remain are those that only you can handle and follow-ups. 

It is not possible to become a multitasker in a day. Remember point three about taking things slow? Just remember, know when to stop and that the secret to multi-tasking is finding tasks that gel well together and don’t clash. Imagine writing an article while taking a call!

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