A question I often get asked is 'Titilope, how are you able to multitask and balance the things that you do effectively?'. Growing up, my mum would always say that she was doing 1001 things at the same time. A hyperbole but she is an amazing multitasker. So, I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! Haha.
Below, I share with you four things that has helped me with multi-tasking effectively and I hope you find it helpful too.
1. Scheduling and Planning Tasks Ahead
In terms of multitasking effectively, I find that scheduling or planning tasks ahead works for me. I don’t use a permanent timetable, but my Notes, Alarm & Calendar Apps make things easy for me. It's very easy to forget things when you have a lot to do. It's human to do so, even. So, I often create lists, set alarms and put tasks in my calendar. There’s a notion that you only put certain things in your calendars or alarms. The ‘serious stuff’. But that’s not quite right.
On a regular day, you would find things like 'Text B about this & that' or 'Practice with T' or '5 minutes to this & that' in my Alarms. Your devices can multitask effectively. It's what they were created to do. It's why you paid so much for that phone, tablet or computer. So, use it. I also recently discovered Notion, an App that is like your personal assistant and life planner. It has been magical for scheduling things and keeping myself accountable. Check it out!
2. No Procrastination
When it comes to multitasking, I try to do things or tasks as soon as possible. Think about it... you have 3 important things to do in 2 days. But, you wait till the 11th hour on the 2nd day to do them. The chances that you'd get them all done are slim. Just like anyone, I have my bouts with procrastination but I endeavour to get my work done as soon as I can. That way, I can move to another task or have some downtime.
Ps: It is important to be as realistic as possible. As much as you would like to be Flash or Superwoman, you are not. Ask yourself, ‘how much time do I need to complete the tasks, while remaining effective and efficient?’ If you need some more time to complete your tasks or you’d like some help, always communicate early! There’s nothing wrong in saying, ‘I need some help with this or I need more time’.
3. Being Accountable
One thing that especially works for me is putting a date and time to my tasks, even when there isn’t ordinarily one. And I communicate this time and date to my superior or colleague. This helps me to remain accountable.
This year, I formed an Accountability Partnership with a close friend. Each month, we write out our tasks or goals in a shared Notion workspace with reminders and checklists, and keep each other focused. Then, at the end of the month, we review all that we have done or not done, what we could do better and set out new tasks or goals for the coming month. This has helped greatly.
When you take on as many tasks as I often do, it is important to prioritize. Prioritizing helps me to focus on tasks, opportunities and even aspirations that are the most important. With this, I can channel my energy, time & skills for maximum efficiency. Prioritizing also helps when you have different tasks with varying degrees of urgency or complexity. This way, you can pace yourself.
On A Final Note
Sometimes, multitasking means putting in extra hours, working smart or adjusting your schedule to make everything work. There is a lot of commitment and determination involved. But if you want to make it work, you will.
Thank you for reading this article on multitasking. These posts are solely based on methods that have worked for me. You can send me a message on LinkedIn if you’d like to further discuss or ask any questions.
Thanks to my friends, Boma Praise George and Bukola Omokehinde for asking me to create this and being amazing cheerleaders!