I’m sure we can all relate to the above scenario. Working from home is not for the faint of heart. Multi-tasking though has more to do with productivity than with super-human powers. Don’t let multi-tasking scare you! There is a way to do it effectively, and hopefully, these 6 tips can help.
1. Do the hardest thing first.
If you are one of those who does not like vegetables, you know it is best to eat them first, so that you can enjoy the rest of your dinner without worrying over them. The same is true for work. Instead of putting off the biggest, hardest or most undesirable task, do it first and get it done with. The feeling of accomplishment will give you a great sense of heightened productivity and fuel your energy for your remaining tasks.
2. Pair a thinking task with a non-thinking one.
For instance, listen to that business podcast or blogging video while you’re making dinner or folding clothes, not while you’re trying to write an email or finish a blog post. Sort socks, coupons or receipts, or chop vegetables for dinner while talking to your mom or a friend on the phone. Reserve those non-thinking tasks for times when you can easily do them while participating in something else.
3. Be purposeful with the lost minutes of your day.
All of us have lost minutes in the day. Times when there are 5 or 10 minutes of waiting or down time that could add up to great productivity if we would re-think what we do. For instance, you could record a short video clip or an audio sound bite on your phone while waiting in the car line to pick up the kids. You can even send emails from your phone easily now with the voice to text option. Another example: read through your long term and short term goals again or edit posts or images while on hold to speak with xyz company. Try to be creative in finding things to do with those lulls in the day, so that not a moment is wasted.
4. Use the conveniences you have.
Many of us own crock pots, rice cookers, timers, and other such contraptions, but how often do we use them? Do you have a lot to accomplish today? Pull out that crock pot and throw in dinner while you are cleaning up from breakfast. Those few extra morning minutes could add as much as 30 minutes or an hour to your afternoon work time because dinner is already cooking while you work.
Use the timer and set specific goals or tasks for your social media time or email answering time to help you remain work focused and not get distracted with personal posts or rabbit trail links.
5. Save distractible tasks for distractible times.
If you know you will have to be supervising homework or watching littles play in the afternoon, save your social media work or other less-focus-needed work for them.
6. Enlist help.
The best way to get more done at once is to clone yourself. Since that’s not likely to happen, the next best thing is to enlist help. You can work together to get the job done in half the time, or each chooses a task, completing two jobs at once. For instance, if you sell a physical product on Etsy or through your website, you could pack boxes and hand them off to your helper (spouse, child, friend, etc.) who can tape them up and add the labels.
Multi-tasking is all about productivity and making the most of the time you have. We all have the same number of hours in a day, but it’s up to each of us to strategically use them to their full potential.
Katie Hornor is the founder of Como Blog, a bilingual education site for bloggers and online business owners, and the new Como Blog Connection, where you will find resources, connections and coaching to spur you on to reach your business dreams. Get info about The Connection and download the Free ebook 50 Powerful Tips for Successful Business Habits at Como Blog.