Being able to stay sane when working on multiple tasks is a trait that you have to teach yourself. Thus, you are probably wondering how to juggle various tasks at work.
Taking the time to hone these skills not only will make you a more valuable employee, but you’ll be able to get your work done in a timely fashion and reduce the amount of stress you feel. Below are some tips on how to handle multiple tasks at work.
1. Create a To-Do List
At the start of each day, it’s beneficial to create a to-do list with all of the projects that need to be completed. If you have a project that is due by the end of the day, this should be the first thing on your list. For projects that are due later in the week, these can be further down on the list.
Creating a list gives you the chance to see exactly what needs to be done. You might consider writing your to-do list in pencil, as things might change throughout the day. Being able to erase and re-prioritize your list will ensure that you get your work done.
2. Set Expectations
Creating a to-do list will make you aware of exactly how many tasks and projects you need to complete—and this may make you feel overwhelmed and increase your stress. Before completely freaking out and losing your sanity, take a deep breath, and set some expectations.
Each of your projects will have a deadline. Those with deadlines that occur sooner rather than later will need to be on the top of your priority list. You’ll also need to think about what you need to do to get your projects completed and how long each of those steps will take.
Remind yourself that you are human and can only do so much in the hours you are given each day, and then break down each task into smaller, easy-to-handle chunks. This will make your list seem less challenging.
3. Set Up a Schedule
After you have made your to-do list and broken your big tasks into smaller steps, you then need to schedule time throughout the day to devote to working on projects and taking care of other tasks. If you’re like most people, you regularly receive emails and messages. Taking the time to read these communications can be distracting and pull your focus away from what you’re working on.
Thus, when it comes to managing your email, schedule some time during the day to devote to reading and answering these messages. This might include spending an hour first thing in the morning or taking 10 or 15 minutes throughout the day to check your inbox.
Time management is an incredibly important skill when it comes to managing multiple tasks. When you set up your schedule, make sure you allocate some time for breaks. If you plan to work for 1-hour blocks, then you’ll want to schedule 15 minutes of break time.
During your breaks, consider getting up from your desk and engaging in an activity that isn’t work-related. This could mean checking social media, heading to the breakroom for a snack, or looking at the messages on your phone. Once your break is over, head back to your desk and get to work.
4. Reduce Distractions
When you are working on a project that you put into your schedule to ensure that you are giving each task your full attention, you need to reduce distractions. If you can close your office door and send your phone to voicemail, do it. Turn off email or message notifications on your computer. Once your scheduled time is up, you can open your door, stop forwarding your phones, and turn your notifications back on—at least until you’re ready to start on your next scheduled task.
5. Stay Organized
One of the biggest wasters of time during the day is looking for documents or information you need to complete a project. By staying organized, you can reduce a lot of stress and wasted time by quickly and easily finding the information you need.
If you are dealing with a lot of paper, you might consider adding file organizers to the top of your desk. Should you have digital documents, make sure to organize them into folders that are descriptive and easy to locate. This will save you a lot of time and sanity.
6. Use a Timer
To ensure that you are staying on schedule, you might consider setting a timer. You have the option of doing this with your phone or downloading an app onto your computer. No matter which option you choose, as soon as the timer goes off, make sure you pull yourself away from your task and take a break.
You might think that breaks aren’t beneficial, but they are. They help you feel refreshed and give your brain a chance to refocus. If you aren’t taking breaks, you risk becoming fatigued and burning out. Even a 3-minute break can be beneficial. Take this time to stand up and stretch.
7. Ask for Help
Should you find that you have way more on your plate than you can handle, consider asking for help. You probably have other team members who need something to do, so ask them if they have the time and ability to reduce some of your workloads.
If you are asking how to juggle multiple tasks at work, there are many different ways to achieve this goal. Knowing which tasks are high priority and when you need help can ensure that projects are done on time and to the best of your ability.
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