There was a time in my life when I thought I was really good at multitasking. Except here’s the thing – there’s no such thing as multitasking.

When I thought I was multitasking really well, I was actually just jumping back and forth between a bunch of tasks REALLY fast. Meaning none of them were getting my full attention and none of them were done as well. Not to mention all the time I wasted transitioning!

And while multitasking isn’t really possible, there are some situations where you can do more than one task at once. Or rather, your brain does one task while your body does another. Here’s how it works!


How to Multitask the Right Way





Pair the Right Tasks


Probably the most common reason people fail to be productive while multitasking is that they pair the wrong kinds of tasks together. If you’re attempting to multitask with two tasks that both require mental focus, then you’re likely to lose track of at least one task, and possibly both.

My favorite trick is to pair one mindless task that requires only my physical presence with one task that takes more of my concentration. Here are a few examples:

  • I watch television while I fold laundry.
  • I listen to podcasts while cleaning, driving, etc.
  • I engage with others on social media while I’m standing in line at stores, Starbucks, the post office, etc.

I also multitask by using short breaks to get small jobs done. For instance, while I’m watching TV in the evenings, I’ll get up during each commercial break and get one small task done. This usually includes doing something for my blog, or a quick cleaning task such as loading the dishwasher. Along those same lines, I also utilize the time while clothes are in the washer/dryer and while food is in the oven.


Get to Know Yourself


Just because something works for me, that doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you, or anyone else for that matter. We also work slightly different, as do our minds. A task that takes more concentration might be a simpler, more mindless task for you, and vice versa.

Once you start experimenting with multitasking different tasks, you’ll get to know yourself better and get a better idea of what will allow you to be most productive.


Remember Your Why


I’ll be honest, I’ve definitely gotten into a multitasking situation where I lose track of my original intent and end up wasting quite a bit of time. One common example for me is laundry.

Folding laundry obviously doesn’t require a whole lot of brain power, so I tend to turn on the television while I’m folding. However often, once the laundry is all folded, I’ll continue watching TV instead of putting away the laundry or getting started on the next load. My initial intention when I sat down wasn’t to watch a TV show, just to entertain me while I was folding laundry, so I need to remember that!


Don’t Overdo It


When it comes to multitasking, it’s easy to overdo it. It’s not uncommon at all to put ourselves in a position where we’re overexerting ourselves and have lost control a bit. When this happens, our productivity tends to tank pretty quickly as well!

If you’re going to give multitasking a go, make sure to check in with yourself occasionally to make sure you’re still staying productive and that multitasking hasn’t overwhelmed you.




Make sure to check out these other posts you might like on Refined Revelry!


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