Multitask like a pro with these 3 tips!Posted on
Students these days are often accused of multitasking, as if it’s a bad thing.
People seem to think that if you’re juggling a lot of things at once, you’re not giving your full attention to anything. While this may be true in the case of someone chatting to a friend while sending a Snap or writing a text, when it comes to study, multitasking is just the nature of the beast. How else would we be able to juggle assessment, jobs, our families, and all those other commitments we sign up for in life?
Read these three tips to find out how!
1. Plan, plan, plan!
When it comes to effective multitasking, a good plan is essential. Grab your diary, a calendar, or open your online planner and mark your key dates clearly. Somehow when we put things in writing, they seem more real. Better still, it makes it easier to see where dates clash and work out what commitments need to be prioritised.
To-do lists are good for planning too. Be sure to use these lists as a tool and not a distraction—don’t fall into the trap of writing and re-writing your list without ever getting to the “do” part! An easy way to be sure that your list-writing doesn’t take control is to make notes next to each task about the time-frame. Set time-specific and time-bound goals for yourself and make sure you stick to them. The best way to do this is to keep your planning visible. Check up on yourself!
2. Remember: Priority is key
Multitasking can be scary. The more commitments you take on, the more potential your life has to get out of control. But it doesn’t have to. When writing your plan, make sure to mark which tasks have a high pay-off (i.e. they will benefit you the most), and which should remain low-priority. An example of this would be comparing an assessment task that’s due in two days and a movie date with a good friend who is only in town for a week. Yes, seeing your friends is important – they don’t get a chance to visit you very often. But your assessment task will take you closer to your ultimate goal of a new qualification and advancement in the workplace. Because your friend is in town after your assessment task is due, they are your low-priority – something that can be done once your high-pay off task (the assessment) has been achieved.
Another point to remember when prioritising tasks is to work on related tasks together. That way you can completely focus on the one subject. If you have written a good plan, you don’t need to worry about anything else– every task will have allocated time, so just concentrate on the immediate group at hand.
3. Use your time wisely: don’t procrastinate
Procrastination is anti-multitasking. Not only does it prevent you from getting any of your millions of things done, but it also adds a whole heap of stress and self-doubt to your life. If you use your time effectively, focus on your goals, and stick to your plan, procrastination won’t have any room to move in. Use your downtime to review new information or to prepare for the next task on your list. Don’t use it to stalk old school mates on Facebook or watch hours of cat videos on Youtube. Sure, you may feel like life is a little “all work and no play”, but it won’t be forever. As soon as you get everything done, you’ll be free again and Youtube will be all yours!
The most important thing to remember about multitasking is that it’s a life skill. Whether you’re studying or not, you’ll be required to juggle a few things at once from time to time. Nobody is an expert straight away, so be kind to yourself and give it a go. If you start practicing now, you’ll be an expert in no time – ready to take on whatever life throws at you!
Article by Kelsey Bricknell