Effectively Multitasking

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  • Be organized. Create folders, a filing system, binders or simply a notebook containing meeting highlights. Make sure this system is easy for you to retrieve information quickly when needed.
  • Put everything in its place. Spend some time each day to file, organize email, and check messages. These things tend to snowball quickly. Deferring this can create a bigger job and dedicated amount of time to do later.
  • Delegate or seek help. Learning to delegate is a necessary skill. If there is no one to delegate to, there is no problem asking a colleague or friend to help you. If they do, you will be able to divide and conquer.
  • Prioritze.  Even though there are several projects happening at once, they are not all of the utmost important.  It is up to you to determine what has it’s most importance at the time.
  • Outsource tasks that may not be necessary for YOU to do. This could be in the form of hiring a consultant, having someone else clean your house or mow your lawn.
  • Focus on one thing at a time.  Multitasking is the ability to have several projects going on at once.  The truth is your attention can only be focused on one thing at a time.  It could be for 5 minutes, it could be 30 minutes or several days before you move on to another project.  Remember that focusing on one task at a time is critical to effectively multitasking.
  • Follow up. One thing that I’ve learned is that it’s okay to delegate, but you are still responsible. Following up and knowing what the status is will be critical for you to “get your arms around everything”. 
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