For the millennial generation, the idea of focusing on one thing at a time seems to be counter-productive when we’d much rather prefer tackling multiple projects at once. As a generation born in a technological- booming society where multiple devices, mobile apps, and daily tasks are part of our daily lives, being a multitasker is a skill innately developed.
An article from TalentCulture mentions that although millennials are more naturally adept at maneuvering between different projects and handling technology, “Multitasking doesn’t always live up to the dream. Instead, it tends to mean a lack of focus and an increase in impulsivity.”
The idea of multitasking, in theory, sounds like the ideal worker for the company. However, studies have shown that lack of productivity resulting from multitasking has resulted in a global loss of over $450 million per year. The question becomes where did the disconnect happen? If I had to make an educated guess, the problem lies with a lack of well-developed time management skills.
The small things such as planning your day, setting daily goals, and knowing where to place your focus all play a pivotal role in the success or failure of your day. Here are some ways to make sure you are being productive when you’re multi-tasking, and not just busy.
Tap into The Power of Discernment
With multitasking comes the mindset that we can “do it all” and try to serve as the Superman for ourselves while also being at the immediate service of others. The problem that arises within creating an image of doing being able to do anything is the expectation that is now placed on you by others — if others see you are accessible 24/7 do not think they would take a chance on that offer. You end up overworking yourself not necessarily with the intention of impression others, but sometimes because you do not want to be seen as incompetent or look down upon for lack of meeting expectations.
One gift that I offer you in your journey throughout life and sifting through this busy professional work is the gift of discernment. By the basic dictionary definition it is the “ability to judge well”, essentially being able to perceive something from a different perspective and make a well thought out decision after analyzing it. Your ability to use discernment when choosing which assignments will take priority on a busy workday or when you are piled high with final projects for school is essential in making it to the end with both your work and mental state intact. Ask yourself when receiving a project, how much do I know about this already? How long would it take me to complete this? How soon is this due? What am I already working on now?
Curate Your Day
The trick to tackling every single day with tenacity, consistency, and satisfaction lies in your habits. What we did yesterday, do today, and most likely have unconsciously planned for tomorrow all have an effect on us — whether that be positive or negative is up to us. As humans, like our animal counterparts, we are creatures of habit building daily skills in order to ensure our survival. You should aim to use your innate ability to create habits tailored for your personal and professional benefit instead of working against it — and in turn, produce results that reflect poor productivity skills.
A simple and powerful tool to set your day for success is simply taking time to actively plan it. From transitioning from undergraduate studies to full-time employment, I realized the pertinence of working closely with a weekly/monthly schedule. I aim to keep my schedule close to me throughout the day and when I wake up in the morning in order to either a stay abreast of what I have already planned and also strive to always set new goals when old ones have been accomplished.
When you proclaim something even without provision as to how you will accomplish it, the thought and intention set the tone for you to mentally and physically alter your day to ensure you complete your task. Multitasking with solid intentions/goals and an action plan to follow along creates a developed leader, thinker, and problem-solver.
Believe it Before You See It
Whether you are a firm believer in the idea of “energy” or have a more modern religious belief, we all agree on some psychological level that if we work at something long enough, focusing on something hard enough, and thinking about something deep enough — the desired outcome will forever be in your favor. When I wake up in the morning I set the intention for my day by saying, “today will be the greatest day of my life.” Without any preconceived knowledge or crystal ball that lets me know already what my day would be like I’m trusting that the day will already be great, despite any highs and lows to arise.
Now more than ever we see conversations within our social circles, media platforms, and in some business models of the power of the goal setting. Growing up with a religious background, one quote I grew up heard a lot about as it pertains to having faith in a specific outcome was, “you have to see before you can see it.” This phrase entertains the notion that in order to see the physical results you would want (material world) you have to be a strong-willed and Vision-powered individual that can see the desired outcome mentally first.
I’ve witnessed first-hand what some call the “Law of Attraction” manifest in my life through my ability to speak what I want to get done before I know how to go about accomplishing it. In 2017, without any prior knowledge or chronological steps, I declared that I would publish a book — I was not actually sure at first if I speaking prematurely but I wrote it anyway. Later that year I was presented with an opportunity to co-author a book entitled, “Grown and Gone” after being placed in contact with someone looking for college students who would like to contribute to publishing the book. That example is just one in a world filled with millions of other shared experiences of goal setting.
In turn, millennials have the potential to revolutionize the workforce throughout the world but it starts with small habits and understanding what we want and how to go about it. Multitasking on projects can seem like it’s the best approach to ensure project completion — but the quantity of work done does not hold strongly when the quality is not reflected as well. Quality work is a by-product of proper preparation and goal-setting — it is only when you plan to work that your work goes according to plan.