Tips from Champions of Multitasking

Tips from Champions of Multitasking

By Luke Clark
From taking breaks to playing games, find out why performing better at work can be a lot more fun than you first thought

India is officially becoming more competitive: the nation has been a recent high-riser on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, scooting up 16 spots in the 2015 version of the report. Of course, on a personal level, the result of this is rising expectations on your own work performance.

With some curious exceptions, most of us can’t actually multitask very well without our overall performance slipping. However there are some good tips out there for those seeking to improve their workplace effectiveness, and stay ahead of their ever-expanding inbox.

1. Play video games

We’re not kidding. Sachin Bansal, head of successful Indian startup, Flipkart, is known to be a fan of video games — but did you know that these games may actually boost your performance in real life? Research published by the University of Rochester in 2010 showed that subjects showed demonstrable improvements in attention, speed, accuracy, vision and multitasking as a result of gaming. So, busy executives: don’t put that Xbox away just yet. Just make sure you enjoy gaming sessions in moderation!

2. Improve note taking

Taking notes in meetings is a skill that you can improve upon. Research suggests that handwritten notes — and typing out the notes afterwards — will improve your memory and the ability to summarize key points.

3. Delegate

As a manager, one of the keys to getting more done when the heat is on, is to check that you are enabling your team members to take on more responsibility. If as a manager, you can be the one checking quality control, while your team works on the nitty gritty details at the coalface, it will mean you can be over more projects — and that the company as a whole can multi-task successfully. 

4. Switch tasks

We have all experienced it: our best ideas come about when we should be doing something else. Just work with that: adapt your workflow to the idea of taking ‘breaks’ by doing different tasks. As novelist David Baldacci told Fast Company, releasing two-to-three books every year came about through always having several on the go: “I write multiple books at once, and I'm always thinking about them,” he notes.

Image: Vikas Dutt