Multitasking has a bit of a bad reputation these days, but the truth is that most professionals need to master this skill in some form or another in their careers. Employers are looking for candidates who know what their strengths are and how to get the job done. Whether or not that involves multitasking is really between the two of you. But here are a few things to think about when preparing for your interview.
What Works for You?
First and foremost, you should know whether you are an able multi-tasker. Can you juggle multiple project and deadlines simultaneously or are you better off focusing on one task from conception to completion? You should know your strengths and weaknesses and be able to explain why or why not multitasking is a particular skill of yours.
Embracing the To Do List
Efficient multitasking requires a system in place to help perform tasks with the utmost efficiency. This can be done with a task list or a To-Do List that helps keep you on track while you juggle. This will also help you to have and see the bigger picture and help you stay on track throughout the day. A good list will also help you prioritize and optimize by grouping similar tasks together, evaluating what can be delegated, and what is ok to push off to tomorrow.
This process leads to opportunities to make cuts or adjustments for optimized efficiency to get more done with less effort. Multitasking is all about being productive and being efficient because, but keep an eye to the quality of your projects. Poor multitasking can lead to issues in project schedules, budgets, or even deliverables. Make sure you are multitasking in a way that serves you and your work.
Multi-Tasking Gone Wrong
There is a big difference between juggling multiple tasks and unrelated tasks. Sometimes the busy work just becomes a distraction. One of the simple mistakes in multi-tasking is combining unrelated tasks. This can lead to projects simply taking longer. Other common errors when multi-tasking do not define the deadline. Each goal, despite its quality, must have a clear and fixed deadline. This urgency will help drive your projects forward and make it clear what you need to focus on and when.
For those who are not natural multi-taskers but who still need to complete multiple tasks throughout the day, blocking can work to their advantage. Working within small blocks of time on a clearly defined task will help you stay focused but productive at the same time. Choose two or three relevant assignments and give yourself some time to complete each task. Finishing similar activities is more effective together and saves time by not starting and stopping different activities. It is easier to focus and work with greater efficiency when you need to complete the task in a short period of time. If not done thoughtfully, multi-tasking can actually cost you valuable time in ramping up on new projects and not checking anything off your list before moving on to the next thing.
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