Defining how multitasking should work for businesses
To help you understand how to manage your employees when you want them to start multitasking, start by defining it. Multitasking is "the ability to prioritize in order to handle multiple projects at the same time." So for a manager, you multitask daily but your employees may not always do this. They may end up doing repetitive tasks, which is why multitasking can sometimes get overwhelming to them since they aren't quite sure what to do and they get overwhelmed in a hurry.
Proper multitasking comes down to properly defining what is important. You need to focus on the most important tasks and do them first. You do not want to do a simple thing such as responding to general emails when you need to work on something more important for your company like your marketing budget or your employee's payroll. Delegating some of the less important tasks like emails to your secretary can help them to have additional responsibilities and you will be able to focus on the other tasks that are more important to the company. Part of defining the important tasks to your staff is when you decide to avoid pairing two important tasks together. You need to give the important tasks your full responsibility so you really don't want to try and do them when you are working on another task.
Multitasking really comes down to the way in which you manage your time. Placing deadlines on some of your projects will be able to help you focus better as you know you don't have 45 minutes to go through your emails as you only allotted 30 minutes to it. Time is just one way you can control your ability to multitask and to find a way to increase the efficiency of your company.
The reason why multitasking can get stressful to a lot of employees is because they get distracted. They are unable to focus because their phone is constantly alerting them of new emails and other things. You need to make a rule for your employees that when they are working on a propriety project, they need to shut off all the devices that distract and to also make sure they are allotting the right amount of time so they don't get distracted. One place where you need to make sure your employees are not multitasking is during meetings when they should be listening so you don't need to email them all the same information from the meeting again.
In order to avoid burnout with your staff and too much multitasking, you need to watch out for working during times like break time or lunch time. People need a reason to relax and get away from work while they are there. By making people take their lunch and get out of their work environment, it helps to recharge their batteries and it can leave you with a productive and happier staff.
Have regular meetings with your employees and clear their plate of information that is causing them to stress out. You need to look for the things that are making them feel overwhelmed and try to delegate that to another employee. Teach your employees how to say NO if they really just cannot take on another project because their plate is already too full.
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Posted by DK