Multitasking time management on a personal level: bad for employees and companies


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Our digital devices leave us no peace. If we do not follow our work, then we are privately social media. And it feels best when we combine the two. Without limits and understanding!

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Claudia Simon Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®Claudia Simon is the managing director of VISTEM GmbH & Co. KG.

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Too many balls

Endpoints and finish lines are becoming increasingly blurred by technology. But not only that: In addition to the constant availability, we are burdened endless discussions and too many projects in addition.

We just hold too many balls in the air at the same time - and then we wonder why our life-juggling does not work anymore. Until we do not recognize ourselves and drive ourselves into constant overburdening into burnout.

One after the other? No thanks!

During a telephone call, we collect e-mails. At lunch at the desk we surf the internet. And in the car we do it all together - although we know how dangerous that is. Of course, this permanent multitasking does not always lead to a collapse - but thanks to this, we are no longer really productive,

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And the long-term shared attention is not healthy either. Without respite, we need our energy reserves quickly. Until the end of the day nothing remains.

Increased time

Those who deal with several tasks can not possibly devote their full attention to one task. By switching back and forth, the time required to complete the task is also increased by up to 25 percent.

If, on the other hand, full attention is paid to a project, much more work can be done during the same period. Provided intensive work phases are followed by real recovery phases - ie breaks that are really used for regeneration.

Productivity and innovative thinking

The framework conditions for less multitasking, higher productivity and more innovative thinking must be supported by the Company be created. For example, with regard to the frequently practiced meeting culture.

Meetings are often time-wasters and challenge participants to multitask. If they are always scheduled as short, disciplined meetings with a maximum of 45 minutes, the participants are more easily focused.

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Wait for answers also once

We tend to give and expect answers immediately, at least at any time of the day. This habit should not only be questioned, but questioned in general. Employees are therefore forced to be constantly reactive.

Behavior destroys our own attention and we can not focus on our priorities without interruption. For a concentrated work should also be given the opportunity to temporarily turn off the e-mail program. On the fast and in absolutely urgent cases, there is still the phone.

Recovery as a counterweight

As a counterbalance to concentrated work, recovery is becoming increasingly important. Every employee should have at least one mandatory time off per day.

A regeneration room, where employees can rest or recharge their batteries, is just as possible as a yoga or meditation class in the afternoon, a sports lesson or a shared lunch walk around the block.

Clear limits

A well-structured way of working helps individuals to set clear boundaries for themselves and for others - employees, colleagues and the boss. The most important thing is ideally done in the morning without interruption.

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The fixed start and end time period should not exceed 60 to 90 minutes. If no shielded workstation is available, noise canceling headphones may be useful. Knowing the previously defined endpoint helps to resist any attempt at distraction.

Now, now, NOW! finally stop

The more intensely one can delve into the task, the more productive he will be. Afterwards, a few minutes to rest are obligatory! Preventing periods of long-term, creative or strategic planning from being exposed to the constant tyranny of "now, now, now".

It is also advisable to have your own environment that is relaxed and particularly suitable for open-minded thinking. If no meeting room is available, such planning sessions can also be held outside the house - maybe even in the countryside.

Regular regeneration phases

For a healthy balance between tension and relaxation, regular vacations must be easy. And that's right, without being thoughtful or back at work. Only those who completely switch off from work can regenerate themselves.

Regularly means, if possible, several times a year, even if it is only a long weekend a few times. Investigations leave no doubt: people are significantly healthier if they take your entire vacation time - and more productive on top.

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All these recommendations are based on a simple principle: When you complete a task, you focus completely on it during a predefined period of time. When you recover, then relax properly. Always be completely in the game and stop living in the gray area in between.


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  1. Luise

    This is multitasking in the application process: Next week I have 3 interviews at once: Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

  2. Marie-Elena

    Yeah, finally, once again discovered a great blog, multitasking is such an important issue!

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