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7 Tricks Expert Multi-Taskers Never Told You

7 Tricks Expert Multi-Taskers Never Told You

One admirable quality that successful people share is the ability to multi-task. However, it would be an incorrect assumption that they became successful due to the ability to multi-task. It is not something we are born with, but rather an approach we are forced to adopt to. In other words, you do not have more free time if you are able to multi-task, but you are able to multi-task because you are running on a tight schedule far too often. In regards to that, the end product of multi-tasking can never trump in quality, compared to what you would have achieved if a certain project had your undivided attention.

multi-tasking is a necessity, a skill usually developed after our initial achievements – it is also the reason why some lines of work, who were praised for their quality during the very beginning, start to lack their prior excellence. In other words, multi-tasking sometimes means sacrificing quality for quantity. However, honing your trait also means that less and less quality is sacrificed with each attempt, whereas the portion of the delivered quantity remains the same. Here are some examples of expert multi-taskers, and how their success is closely connected to this ability.

They Segment the Copious Tasks, and Stack Compatible Jobs Together – Project Manager

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    One form of increased productivity is when you are able to identify compatible elements of multiple assignments, and find out how to manoeuvre your work so that you complete more than one task simultaneously. If you can execute this, then it is safe to say you would be a great project manager. Competent project managers are constantly coming up with tactics for the most efficient, and energy conserving way to tackle more issues, or one copious issue. I can exemplify this claim by using a personal story.

    I work as a creative writer and most of my jobs include product descriptions for various clients online. Every now and then, deadlines start to overlap, which means that I need to pick up the pace significantly.  Luckily, with multiple clients come multiple demands, or in my instance multiple types of products waiting for their description. These descriptions also warrant an adequate amount of research in order to be insightful and unique, thus for the sake of reducing the amount of time required for research, our project manager assigns me those products that are either from the same niche, or have some degree of synergy. The only drawback is that products, more closely related to the research I’ve conducted, have somewhat more insightful and detail-oriented descriptions, leaving one client very pleased with the job done, whereas the other one is simply satisfied, but not impressed.

    Our project manager does an impressive amount of work, he goes through all the codes of different clients, classifies the products in relation to their niche, and gives each of us assignments that are now related to researching and writing about particular topic. He also classifies assignments based on difficulty and importance, then makes sure the most arduous of jobs are done first thing in the morning while we are still all fresh and energized.

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    They Plan out Their Day, Using To-Do Lists – Housewives

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      When it comes to art of multi-tasking, housewives are the unrivaled champions of the domain. I am referring to the housewives that spent most of their day taking care of children, driving them to school and switching to chores and house maintenance afterwards. There is no need for a story to demonstrate this – I have recently moved out to live with my friends, and so far, we are having a hard time maintaining the house properly, to say the least. Our to-do-list seems to be ever-growing which is quite overwhelming.

      I can only imagine what it’s like during celebrations, like birthdays or holidays. The amount of food that needs to be prepared, and the amount of tasks around the house increases significantly, I have never tried that level of simultaneous work – preparing more meals, organizing decorations, cleaning, rearranging furniture, shopping etc. Doing this successfully means you have incredible time-management skills and focus, which is why we (me and my friends) end up outsourcing a portion of our chores.

      They Entertain and Advertise – Vloggers

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        A great number of people, myself included, spends incredible amounts of time on YouTube, browsing different channels, and viewing vloggers talking about all kinds of topics. We mostly do it for the purpose of education and entertainment, but make no mistake, vloggers are so much more than teachers and entertainers; they are amazing multi-taskers.

        YouTube is the 3rd largest website on the World Wide Web, yet some people manage to create such channels that are compelling enough to make substantial amounts of profit. This is not done simply by recording something you are good at, and uploading it. It takes so much more efforts, and strategy. After all, the profit comes from YouTube marketing, and to be noticed in such a vast community is actually a lot of hard work. It only appears to be sheer luck, but in reality, there is a whole procedure behind a single video with viral potential. Moreover, one viral video does not count as success. Audience or subscribers, and consistency are true parameters that define a good channel.

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        You need to find something you are really good at, as your topic, and find a way to make it interesting to an even wider audience. For example, if you have a good sense of humor, use it, make masses laugh, but at the same time try to incorporate more serious topics, and address serious issues to keep people informed. Use a lot of visual aids, and work on your performance. People like Ray William Johnson, John Oliver, Nice Peter, etc – they all have YouTube channels that attract audiences via humor, but at the same time, offer such a wonderful insight on topics like history, current politics and news, discrimination, etc. If you are able to create such a versatile channel, you deserve to get paid, these people only seem like they are goofing off, but they are actually doing more than one job simultaneously.

        They Utilize Technology, and Stay Vigilant – Bloggers/ Freelancers/ Business Owners

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          Have you ever wondered how truly ambitions people always have high positions in some firms, but somehow, when you meet with them outside of work, you feel like you share the same level of competence. You start to wonder – why did other people find that person so reliable? You also have acquaints and friends who could probably outclass the individual in question, yet he or she is their superior.

          The truth is, skill and knowledge are not the only factors influencing success; mindset plays an important role, as well as the ability to multi-task on numerous online fronts. People who carry the status of a professional worked on their professional reputation, they went an extra mile to leave a good first impression, and made sure it stayed that way. Do not be envious, but rather learn from them. Nowadays people can find out a great deal about you, or to be more accurate, assume a great deal about you, simply by looking you up online.

          Your social media profiles, they can represent you as a professional, and at the same time make you look like a childish alcoholic, if you allow everyone you ever knew to tag you. We see things like these on an everyday basis, people adore a good gossip, and when someone is hungry for attention, that person may conjure up all sorts of stories. You can easily end up being accused of something that makes no sense, and whether you like it or not, people will start to doubt. A renowned businessmen, ambitions cadets, and successful freelancers, all work on their online reputations. They leave no stone left unturned and use reputation software on all fronts, never dropping their guard.

          They Implement Group Work, While Socializing – Students (Study Groups)

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            During your studies, you probably experience what it means to multi-task for the first time, especially when mid-terms start to draw near. These pressuring moments make us utilize our full mental capacity and discover a glimpse of the so called “holistic learning.” We devise a tactic in which subjects are compatible with one another, and try to find the way to explore their synergy. This is why group work comes truly in handy when facing a mid-term crisis.

            In order to make the best out of your remaining time, organize a study group, then distribute which group member should cover what. The point of this multi-tasking exercise is to master a portion of exam material to the point where you efficiently transfer that knowledge to your colleagues. Then organize a couple of study session, to thoroughly share your portion of material, and try to unify the knowledge into a whole. Honestly, it may be far from perfection, and you might not pass with flying colors, but if failure is not an option, this is the best way to avoid it.

            Moreover, if it’s your freshmen year, this is a golden opportunity to socialize with new colleagues while learning. Having reliable friends and contacts, is yet another important part of success, and these people are interested in the same niche, making them potential co-workers in the future. All things considered, these are relationships of great importance.

            They Try to Express Themselves and Remain Loyal to Their Audience – Artists/Designers

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              Good artists and designers are indeed gifted, or a talented group of people, with a very wide and deep emotional spectrum. It takes special kind of work and a skill-set to transfer a portion of that complexity to a piece of art, which can evoke or inspire the observers to experience a part of the artist’s inner being. These gifts deserve to be nurtured, however, when musicians, graphic designers, writers etc. are working for someone, a problem emerges. Employers, or clients usually demands what artists need to do and very often the type of work only uses a small portion of their true capacity. People with great skills are not fond of their name being diminished.

              Artists and designers therefore multi-task all the time, they are trying to find the way to fulfill their job, and, at the same, personalize it and give it a portion of their own creative spark, so that in the end, they can be, to some degree, proud of such work. These types of things can be really difficult due to the numerous restrictions, holding back the artists. However, such types of tasks can ultimately awaken true creative potential. Working under restraints, forces you to delve deeper within the borders of the task, and thus give more depth to your end product.

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              I suppose the main character of the movie “Forrest Gump” perfectly illustrates what is implied here. The character is an embodiment of the true beauty and brilliance of simplicity, a true work of art. Of course, the creator of the character was not ordered by anyone to make Forest that way. The point is, even when something seems limited, you can find more than meets the eye, once you give it more thought and chance.

              They Work on Themselves While Polishing Their Performance – Actors/Entertainers/Stand-Up Artists

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                Finally, this is a rare and hard to master form of multi-tasking, it utilizes your cognitive and physical abilities at the same time. Before this kind of lifestyle becomes a routine, the life itself is a living hell.

                Anyone who went to the opera or theater has very likely seen at least one play, where one or more actors are at some point crawling authentically, and are either singing or talking loudly at the same time. We usually don’t give it much thought since we are fully immersed in the show and its plot, but this type of multi-tasking is extremely difficult. Focusing on your movement, breathing, lines, and loudness, not to mention tone, all at the same time, and executing the scene flawlessly, is without a doubt awe inspiring.

                If one is to be capable of such a feat, it requires a great amount of fortitude, which means working out, countless drills to memorize the lines, and lastly, extreme mental tenacity to combine the two. The echoing applause live performers earn after each spectacular show is well earned and completely justified, because they experienced intense hardships to impress you.

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                Djordje Todorovic

                Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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                Last Updated on September 30, 2020

                Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

                Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

                When it comes to being effective vs efficient, there are a lot of similarities, and because of this, they’re often misused and misinterpreted, both in daily use and application.

                Every business should look for new ways to improve employee effectiveness and efficiency to save time and energy in the long term. Just because a company or employee has one, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that the other is equally present.

                Utilizing both an effective and efficient methodology in nearly any capacity of work and life will yield high levels of productivity, while a lack of it will lead to a lack of positive results.

                Before we discuss the various nuances between the word effective and efficient and how they factor into productivity, let’s break things down with a definition of their terms.

                Effective vs Efficient

                Effective is defined as “producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect.” Meanwhile, the word “efficient ” is defined as “capable of producing desired results with little or no waste (as of time or materials).”[1]

                A rather simple way of explaining the differences between the two would be to consider a light bulb. Say that your porch light burned out and you decided that you wanted to replace the incandescent light bulb outside with an LED one. Either light bulb would be effective in accomplishing the goal of providing you with light at night, but the LED one would use less energy and therefore be the more efficient choice.

                Now, if you incorrectly set a timer for the light, and it was turned on throughout the entire day, then you would be wasting energy. While the bulb is still performing the task of creating light in an efficient manner, it’s on during the wrong time of day and therefore not effective.

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                The effective way is focused on accomplishing the goal, while the efficient method is focused on the best way of accomplishing the goal.

                Whether we’re talking about a method, employee, or business, the subject in question can be either effective or efficient, or, in rare instances, they can be both.

                When it comes to effective vs efficient, the goal of achieving maximum productivity is going to be a combination where the subject is effective and as efficient as possible in doing so.

                Effectiveness in Success and Productivity

                Being effective vs efficient is all about doing something that brings about the desired intent or effect[2]. If a pest control company is hired to rid a building’s infestation, and they employ “method A” and successfully completed the job, they’ve been effective at achieving the task.

                The task was performed correctly, to the extent that the pest control company did what they were hired to do. As for how efficient “method A” was in completing the task, that’s another story.

                If the pest control company took longer than expected to complete the job and used more resources than needed, then their efficiency in completing the task wasn’t particularly good. The client may feel that even though the job was completed, the value in the service wasn’t up to par.

                When assessing the effectiveness of any business strategy, it’s wise to ask certain questions before moving forward:

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                • Has a target solution to the problem been identified?
                • What is the ideal response time for achieving the goal?
                • Does the cost balance out with the benefit?

                Looking at these questions, a leader should ask to what extent a method, tool, or resource meets the above criteria and achieve the desired effect. If the subject in question doesn’t hit any of these marks, then productivity will likely suffer.

                Efficiency in Success and Productivity

                Efficiency is going to account for the resources and materials used in relation to the value of achieving the desired effect. Money, people, inventory, and (perhaps most importantly) time, all factor into the equation.

                When it comes to being effective vs efficient, efficiency can be measured in numerous ways[3]. In general, the business that uses fewer materials or that is able to save time is going to be more efficient and have an advantage over the competition. This is assuming that they’re also effective, of course.

                Consider a sales team for example. Let’s say that a company’s sales team is tasked with making 100 calls a week and that the members of that team are hitting their goal each week without any struggle.

                The members on the sales team are effective in hitting their goal. However, the question of efficiency comes into play when management looks at how many of those calls turn into solid connections and closed deals.

                If less than 10 percent of those calls generate a connection, the productivity is relatively low because the efficiency is not adequately balancing out with the effect. Management can either keep the same strategy or take a new approach.

                Perhaps they break up their sales team with certain members handling different parts of the sales process, or they explore a better way of connecting with their customers through a communications company.

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                The goal is ultimately going to be finding the right balance, where they’re being efficient with the resources they have to maximize their sales goals without stretching themselves too thin. Finding this balance is often easier said than done, but it’s incredibly important for any business that is going to thrive.

                Combining Efficiency and Effectiveness to Maximize Productivity

                Being effective vs efficient works best if both are pulled together for the best results.

                If a business is ineffective in accomplishing its overall goal, and the customer doesn’t feel that the service is equated with the cost, then efficiency becomes largely irrelevant. The business may be speedy and use minimal resources, but they struggle to be effective. This may put them at risk of going under.

                It’s for this reason that it’s best to shoot for being effective first, and then work on bringing efficiency into practice.

                Improving productivity starts with taking the initiative to look at how effective a company, employee, or method is through performance reviews. Leaders should make a point to regularly examine performance at all levels on a whole, and take into account the results that are being generated.

                Businesses and employees often succumb to inefficiency because they don’t look for a better way, or they lack the proper tools to be effective in the most efficient manner possible.

                Similar to improving a manager or employee’s level of effectiveness, regularly measuring the resources needed to obtain the desired effect will ensure that efficiency is being accounted for. This involves everything from keeping track of inventory and expenses, to how communication is handled within an organization.

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                By putting in place a baseline value for key metrics and checking them once changes have been made, a company will have a much better idea of the results they’re generating.

                It’s no doubt a step-by-step process. By making concentrated efforts, weakness can be identified and rectified sooner rather than later when the damage is already done.

                Bottom Line

                Understanding the differences between being effective vs efficient is key when it comes to maximizing productivity. It’s simply working smart so that the intended results are achieved in the best way possible. Finding the optimal balance should be the ultimate goal for employees and businesses:

                • Take the steps that result in meeting the solution.
                • Review the process and figure out how to do it better.
                • Repeat the process with what has been learned in a more efficient manner.

                And just like that, effective and efficient productivity is maximized.

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                Featured photo credit: Tim van der Kuip via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] Merriam-Webster: effective and efficient
                [2] Mind Tools: Being Effective at Work
                [3] Inc.: 8 Things Really Efficient People Do

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