Do not Multitask. Get Higher at Process Switching.

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Don't Multitask. Get Better at Task Switching.

You may be thinking about multitasking, but you are actually switching tasks. Learn how you can switch tasks more efficiently and productively.

December
22, 2020

5 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

We've been told that multitasking is good for work productivity, but we intuitively know that constant multitasking makes us stressed. This is because the word "multitasking" itself contradicts what we do. After all, we don't multitask. Computer do; People don't. We change the task.

The word "multitasking" means that you can do two or more things at the same time. But our brains only allow us to do one thing at a time, and we have to switch back and forth. The human brain is not able to change context when changing tasks. This affects performance and increases stress.

Switching tasks is nothing new. However, switching tasks with many sources of information is a new challenge. The constant streams of information from e-mails, chats, phone calls and documents burden the memory again. Getting details when moving from one subject to another requires mental aerobics. How can you switch tasks without losing your train of thought?

Related Topics: Why Multitasking Blocks Your Path To Success

Productivity tools make it difficult to switch tasks

Under the name "Workplace Chat", a new software genre has ushered in a new chapter in productivity tools that are designed to increase employee productivity and make work fun! If only it was true.

These tools began with the aim of replacing email with chat for workplace communication. Measured against their growth, this was successful. Then they got ambitious and started integrating many different apps into their systems. They wanted to have a single point of access to all work information in one place. Ironically, these well-intentioned tools resulted in unintended consequences. Instead of making work easier, they created information overload, burdening the user and reducing productivity. Without proper reference or context, the user was forced to mentally switch tasks to understand all of the information stored on them.

Another type of tool began with the ambitious goal of bringing all popular web apps under one roof with a single login. Nevertheless, each app works alone in its own room. Sure, switching apps is easy. But each app creates its own information island. There is no connection between them that supports a single narrative. The user may need to keep connections in memory even when switching between apps working on the same topic.

Related Topics: 16 Productivity Tools That Are Useful For Any Business Owner

An app to thread information and make changing tasks natural

What if there was an app that harnessed the power of many communication media in today's workplace to increase productivity? This avoids putting excessive strain on the user's memory. The context of the & # 39; task & # 39; or the & # 39; topic & # 39; remains. It places all relevant communication for the topic in threads. Threads relieve the user of keeping context with procedural methods.

Imagine a customer service rep who looks after many customers. The conversation can start with incoming emails or phone calls from customers. The representative may then need the help of other people on her team to respond to each customer. Internal communication can take place via a chat system. All communication with each customer is a topic. Switching subjects is stressful for the representative. She needs to remember all of the communications she had with each customer through email, chat, and phone calls. She also needs to connect them to the communication she had with her internal team. To make things easier, she may open many windows on her screen – one for chat, the other for email, and so on. You can see how this can get out of hand. However, this is common.

Now imagine an app that supports email, chat, and phone calls. When each customer contacts a representative, a new topic thread is started. This topic thread connects all subsequent communication with this customer. The representative can easily switch customers by clicking on a different topic thread. Scanning the thread shows the bigger picture of the situation. Your response is quick and appropriate. This increases customer satisfaction.

Switching topics is now a breeze. All of this without changing the way the agent works.

Related Topics: Tools and Strategies to Improve Your Focus Effortlessly

The missing key – context

While we believe we are multitasking, we really don't. We change the task. Unfortunately, apps get in the way that should make our lives easier and fun. Instead of helping us to simply change tasks, they strain our memory and strain us. What these apps lack is "context". They don't let the user keep context when they switch tasks. Context is the glue that brings everything together and makes switching tasks natural and productive.

While automation makes it extremely easy to keep context across tasks, we can do it procedurally as well. You can create folders for any topic you want to keep track of and save all related messages (emails, chats, shared documents …) as files – PDF, image … in these folders. While it's awkward, it takes some of the pressure off your mind to keep track of all of this.

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