As more research is completed, we know that multitasking is not the marvelous skill to getting things done that it has been hyped to be in the past. We are now aware that multitasking requires more focus and time to get back to the task at hand. Stopping and starting tasks wastes time and mental effort.
There are many ways to organize your time and your work tasks. We all understand the need to prioritize tasks. Do the task with the highest priority first. However, that technique requires that you have a block of time to devote to the task.
What if you have 10 minutes between completing a high-priority report and a meeting with important clients? What high-priority tasks can you complete in 10 minutes? Probably none. So instead of wasting that time, think about better ways to organize your tasks.
You might consider organizing your tasks based on length of time to complete, quick, longer, and time consuming. The quick tasks can be completed in less than 10 or 15 minutes. The longer tasks will require 20 minutes to an hour to complete. And the time-consuming tasks will require a block of several hours or more.
When you have your lists organized using this tactic, you are able to utilize those odd moments in the day to complete the quick items, without eroding the time you must set aside for the longer, more time-consuming tasks.
For example, you know the budget meeting invariably starts 10 minutes late. From your laptop or tablet, you can answer emails or complete other quick tasks. Your client called to say they had an emergency and must reschedule? Now you have an hour or more to devote to the longer tasks. And as always, you block increments of time in hours to complete the most time-consuming tasks, while taking into account the priority level of every task on your list.
Now you have more free time for the other activities you value, such as family, social engagements, and relaxation. At the end of an extremely productive day, you give yourself permission to leave work at work and enjoy other relationships. And your manager will notice the increased productivity in comparison to your colleagues who are still wasting a large portion of every day trying to multitask!