In the current highly competitive business environment, almost everyone in the workplace wears more than a few hats when it comes to professional duties. All these responsibilities often require us to jump between tasks, tools, or projects simultaneously. However, task-switching and multitasking habits can kill your productivity, focus, and happiness while making you error-prone.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), shifting between tasks can cost up to 40% of your productive time. Despite the stark data, many people find it challenging to stop task switching in its entirety. Between being constantly contacted by email and phone, having jam-packed work schedules, and the expectation to maintain prolonged focus, many of us end up jumping between tasks as a way of coping. If you find it challenging to stop task-switching, here are a few tips to defeat this habit.
Plan your day inadvance
An easy way to overcome multitasking habits is to create a to-do list at the start of each day. Start by determining the tasks you want to get done and prioritize them according to their importance and urgency. This involves identify what you should do first, second, or never. When you schedule time to perform a specific task, you mentally commit to giving it your full attention during that time slot. Ultimately, this step helps you avoid the temptation of jumping between tasks and spreading your focus too thin.
Use a coworking space
Studies reveal human productivity differs based on their divergent work schedules and routines. While some people are more productive in a quiet environment, others like to collaborate. To maximize productivity and reduce multitasking, employers should have different work environments based on how people work best. This is where coworking spaces such as Quest Workspaces come in. Quest offers a mix of open work areas and private offices or meeting rooms. While the open layouts are conducive to collaboration and interaction, the private spaces provide a quiet environment for focused work. Here are some of the other ways coworking spaces can help you avoid multitasking:
- Separation of work and personal life: Coworking spaces offer a distinct separation between work and personal life. When you are in a dedicated workspace, you are less likely to be distracted by household chores, personal phone calls, or other non-work-related tasks that often lead to multitasking.
- Access to resources and support: Coworking spaces typically provide access to office equipment, meeting rooms, and support services such as receptionists and admin assistants. These resources reduce the need to juggle multiple tasks and allow you to focus on your work without interruptions.
- Social accountability: In a coworking environment, you are often surrounded by people working on their projects or businesses. Social accountability can discourage you from engaging in multitasking when others are focused on their work.
Choose your power hour
Choosing a time of day when you are most alert and productive and using this time for deep-flow work is another effective way to break the multitasking habit. Research shows most people are most productive between 9 am and 11 am, although everyone is different. Start by identifying the time when you are most engaged and turn off all alerts and notifications during this time so you can focus on getting more of a single significant work done. Coworking spaces such as Quest can be incredibly beneficial in helping you maximize your power hour. These spaces are designed to provide a quiet and professional working environment conducive to focused work. They are also accessible 24/7 to accommodate flexible work schedules that suit different personalities.
Schedule multiple breaks
Scheduling multiple breaks throughout your workday allows you to structure your time, improve focus, and avoid the pitfalls of multitasking. Knowing that a break is coming up can encourage you to stay on task and maintain concentration. Besides, you can use these breaks to undertake non-priority tasks such as personal phone calls that would otherwise distract you during your most productive time.
Take advantage of fun amenities and services available in co-working spaces to unwind and renew your energy before returning to work. Quest Workspaces offer amenities like comfortable lounges, kitchen areas, and recreational spaces that allow members to relax, have coffee or a snack, and even play a game to unwind.
Make use of productivity tools
Productivity tools can be valuable in helping you break your multitasking and task-switching habits. These resources often come with task management features that allow you to create to-do lists and prioritize tasks. As mentioned earlier, when you have a clear list of what needs to be done, you can stay focused on one task at a time rather than juggling multiple tasks simultaneously. Leading coworking spaces like Quest offer various tools and technologies to enhance productivity and time management. Tools such as project management software, time-tracking apps, and other resources can help you stay on track with your tasks. Many of these tools often include notification settings that you can customize. In essence, you can turn off or minimize notifications for non-essential apps and tasks, reducing the temptation to switch between tasks.
Use Quest Workspace solutions to break unproductive multitasking habits
Even though the human brain has billions of neurons and trillions of connections, it is incapable of doing multiple things simultaneously. When you switch between tasks, your brain needs time to refocus and reorient itself, which leads to decreased efficiency. This task-switching time can add up and reduce the overall productivity of each task.
Quest Workspaces offer flexible work environments to help you overcome task-switching and multitasking habits. Our spaces boast quiet areas, private offices, and collaborative zones, allowing you to choose an environment that suits your work style and minimizes interruptions.
Contact us today to schedule a tour of a facility near you.