How often do we hear, “associates are now more and more being tasked with more than one position” and “associates who learn the skills of their peers have more immunity from being laid-off”? More and more positions are being eliminated everyday and those duties and responsibilities are being delegated to employees that remain with the company.
In my many years as a Senior Mid-Manager for a big Hospitality Company, I have seen the vicious cycle of this Catch-22. For my own yearly reviews and the reviews of my hourly associates, I keep hearing: “you are awarded half but not your full objective raise because though you have taken initiative taking up various duties and responsibilities outside your position and are a valuable asset to our company yet you have overextended yourself and have reduced your own optimum task output levels”.
Multitasking is being promoted more and more each day. Laid-offs reduce the labor expenses of a company yet the remaining associate that absorbs the eliminated position do not get the full salary (usually 25% and the most 50%) of the former employee. Portions of the money that is saved usually have been distributed as a bonus to senior top management for their “ingenuity” in saving the company’s money.
Computers do NOT multitask. They possess high-speed processors that process one task at a time at a speed unseen and unable to be calculated by the naked eye. The speed is so fast that it produces the illusion of processing more than one task at a time.
Multitasking reduces the focus of an individual. A lot of individuals have been working in an environment and culture that push them to keep producing more and more. The repercussions of this way of thinking are not immediately visible. Over time, qualities of work have been degrading and the focus factor of each individual have been diminishing; some employees have even been recorded as needing medical attention.
In other aspects of life, multitasking can have dire, sometimes fatal, consequences. There are now laws that deem illegal to simultaneously drive a vehicle and using any mobile devices… there is an increase of vehicular accidents in correlation to using cellphone (whether talking or texting).
What can be done to alter this paradigm? Are there methodologies that can be applied to remedy this growing problem without reducing output results?
First and foremost, take a deep breath and let go of all defeating thoughts of schedules and deadlines. Relax. If necessary, take a mini-nap or, if able, perform a quick relaxing meditation.
2. Remove Distractions
In today’s hi-tech world, social media has proven to be one of the biggest distractions. Many times, people’s attention and focus are consumed by what have caught their eye on the various platforms (i.e.: Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Unless your profession/career centers around social media, remove them from your vicinity until you have non-focus time to enjoy the latest social media news.
3. Use a Planner/ Scheduler
Set a schedule and prioritize appointments. Approach each task with your full attention and focus from development to completion. Once completed, move forward to the next task. Do NOT delve on thoughts of the previous task once it has been done. The current task requires your FULL attention. In a world where everything come at us simultaneously, one must determine which is priority and finish that task then move toward to the next priority.
4. Be Flexible
Deadlines tend to always change that interferes with current tasking. When confronted with such a dilemma, assess which takes first priority then second and tentatively third. Once assessed, alter your scheduling accordingly but NEVER lose focus on your schedule and attend to each task with your FULL attention and vigor.
5. Remove ALL Non-Essentials
Make a habit of evaluating what are the non-essentials and eliminating all clutters from your life. This will get rid of everything that is a distraction and a time-consumer therefore making your situation smoother and more comfortable instead of a dark cloud hanging over you.
6. End-of-Day Review
At the end of each day, review what you have accomplished during the day and preview your Planner/Scheduler for the next day. As priorities and deadlines change, alter your next day’s itinerary accordingly.
7. Develop GOOD Habits
Once you have formulated a smooth routine of scheduling/planning and setting goals, develop it into a good habit. Build this into an essential core of your life and, in time, will reap the rewards.
8. Keep Healthy
Keeping your body and mind healthy by eating right and getting the proper amount of rest. In today’s fast-paced world, many of us tend to forget that we have limitations and that we need to tend to those limits. Listen to your body and it will maintain a balanced equilibrium to enable you to obtain the maximum output.