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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 January 2, 2019

                Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

                Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

                The end of the year is the time when everyone tries to give you advice on how to live healthier, look better, and earn more money.

                It’s understandable if you find yourself lost among all the tips and opinions. Sometimes you no longer know what you truly want to achieve next year – and what’s just imposed by society.

                To help you out, we’ve made this article about the things you should remove from your new year’s resolution list – instead of adding to it – to make your daily life more harmonious and peaceful.

                So just make sure you cross these off your New Year’s to-do list – your body, mind and soul will be thankful.

                1. Stop Buying Meaningless Gifts

                We all know the sense of obligation – when we have to buy a gift for an event or celebration that’s already tomorrow, but we still have no idea of what to give.

                Take these tips close to heart for all upcoming holidays, including birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc.:

                Stop focusing on the material objects

                Instead of focusing on what material object to give, think about the emotion you want to evoke[1] in the gift recipient, and then pick a symbolic gift that can support or represent that emotion. For example, you can gift coziness by presenting a “comfort set” with warm socks, tea, candles, etc. Or give motivation by presenting a beautiful planner or notebook.

                Plan gifts in advance

                We know this is easier said than done. But if you try to plan which gifts you’ll need in the upcoming months (try making a list three or four times a year), ideas will more likely come to mind and you’ll avoid that last-minute shopping. Not to mention, you’ll be able to keep an eye on sales to get the best prices.

                Suggest a better way

                If you’re tired of exchanging gifts for birthdays and holidays, initiate a different approach. For example, draw names among family members and agree that each one only buys a present to that one person they got. Alternatively, you can agree not to share gifts among adults, and only give presents to kids of the family. Or, ask friends to donate to charity instead of buying a gift for you.

                Go for common experiences instead of exchanging gifts

                You can agree (with your partner or the extended family) to go on a common trip, dinner or another activity, instead of spending money on gifts.

                Sometimes you’ll have to be the one who initiates breaking the rules that have been accepted in the family for years. But if you suspect that you’re not the only one in the group who’s tired of gift-hunting, you’ll surely find support for your suggestions.

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                2. Don’t Exaggerate with Diets and Fitness Resolutions

                It’s no secret that TV shows, article headlines, and ads (not to mention our healthy diet-obsessed friends) make us feel like we need to look better, slimmer and younger than we actually are. But going on yet another diet or starting a fitness plan with the wrong motivation rarely leads to great results.

                If you are like many people, you have probably signed up for an annual gym membership at least once in your life – only to drop it one month later.

                How do you balance a good resolution for a healthier life without pushing yourself into commitments that won’t last?

                Here’s what you can do:

                Set a healthier pattern

                For example, do meat-free Mondays or reduce meat consumption to three days per week (less saturated fat for you and better for the environment). Or choose to eat only healthy food at least three days a week or only on weekdays (e.g. make sure your meals contain vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, and protein). This way you’ll already have a healthier diet while still being able to treat yourself with a snack on weekends or parties.

                Get a fitness watch

                Fitness watches like Fitbit or MiBand are tiny accessories that will count your steps, calories burnt and will serve as an excellent motivator to move – or to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

                Find a physical activity that you enjoy

                Even if you are not that fond of doing sports, you can definitely find an activity that you’d do with pleasure. Think about what you’d like – from taking up Nordic walking to pilates or even exercising at home.

                Try intermittent fasting

                This is an alternating cycles of fasting and eating. For example, stop eating at 8 pm and restart not sooner than 12 hours later. This approach has been proven to have numerous health benefits, in addition to weight loss.

                Skip cabs or driving to work and opt for cycling or walking instead

                You’ll burn calories, breathe some fresh air, and save money – win-win!

                3. Put a Cap on Your Daily To-Do List

                In today’s busy world, planning your day in a stress-free way is actually an art in itself. It’s natural to want to be a loving parent, a diligent employee, an active member of the local community and probably several other individual roles.

                But playing all these roles requires energy and meticulous planning. How not to lose yourself amidst all the appointments and responsibilities? And – most importantly – how to still find time for relaxing and recharging yourself?

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                These daily planning tips will help you have more stress-free days:

                Leave bigger intervals between meetings

                If you schedule too many appointments or chores in a day, you’ll probably end up late at some point, and as a result – more stressed. There are many different reasons why people are late, but poor planning is a major factor too.

                Plan time to relax

                As weird as it may sound, you should try and schedule your resting time. For example, if you only have one free evening this week, and a friend tries to squeeze in a meeting, feel free to say no. Don’t feel obliged to specify the reason for your refusal, just say that you are busy.

                Try to be a little pessimistic

                We’re often packed with plans or running late for errands because we tend to be overly optimistic – about the traffic, the time it takes to do things, etc. Instead, try an opposite tactic — assume you’ll hit traffic or the meeting will take longer.

                Try waking up earlier

                Sometimes even waking up 30 minutes earlier can give you the much-needed head start for several errands of the day. But remember to get enough sleep every night, even if it means going to bed earlier.

                Plan your day the day before

                Chances are your day will be much better organized if you pack a lunch and lay out an outfit before going to bed.

                Designate a time for checking emails and social messages

                If you start checking your messages between appointments, you risk getting lost in a sea of messages that need replies. Designate a time for this activity or do it in case you arrived early to a meeting.

                4. Let Go of Unhealthy and Time-Consuming Habits

                If there’s one thing we should get rid of in the new year, it’s the habits that steal our time, provide instant gratification but don’t offer any value in the long term. Or even worse, leave a negative impact on our health.

                Here are some common (and pointless) habits along with tips on how to get rid of them:

                Binge-watching TV series

                Even if most online television platforms offer you lists of “Best TV Shows to Binge Watch”, being addicted to series is a major time-waster.

                You can manage this addiction in several ways, for example, watch one episode per day (or a few per week) as a reward, only after you’ve finished an assignment or done a house chore. Or try replacing this habit with exercise or reading a book – this will be hard at first but should stick after a few weeks. You can also try to track how much time you spend on TV or movies – seeing how much of your life you are wasting might urge you to do something about it.

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                Running on coffee

                Being a coffee addict is kind of a stylish addiction nowadays, but it’s not that innocent as it may initially seem. Besides addiction being a problem in itself, drinking too much coffee (more than 500-600 mg of caffeine a day) may lead to nervousness, insomnia, an upset stomach, a fast heartbeat, and even muscle tremors.[2]

                As a solution, try switching to tea or edible coffee – a more sustainable, healthy, and productivity-enhancing alternative. For example, Coffee Pixels are solid coffee bars that generate a more even energy kick throughout the day without the coffee-induced abstinence and dehydration.

                Procrastination

                Fighting procrastination requires some serious willpower. If it is a problem in your daily life or work, try ”eating the frog” in the morning – get over your biggest or hardest tasks first, then tackle everything else.

                Alternatively, use time tracking software to monitor exactly how much time you waste on unproductive actions, websites or apps. Once you know exactly how much time you’re spending unproductively, try to limit your time on social media, for example to just 20 minutes per day.

                If nothing else works, try bribing yourself — promise yourself to do something fun or pleasant when you finish your assignment.

                Whichever habit you want to give up, consider using some habits building tools to make a contract with yourself and reward yourself for milestones achieved.

                5. Stop over-consuming

                We live in the age of consumerism – huge manufacturers with their promise of a comfortable life on the one hand, and growing environmental threats – that are the direct result of our modern lifestyle – on the other hand. There’s only one solution – try to consume less whenever and wherever you can.

                Before making additional purchases, ask yourself these questions:

                • Do I really need it? Did I need it yesterday?
                • Can’t I buy it used or borrow it from friends?
                • Can I rent it?
                • Can I make it myself?
                • Am I buying the most sustainable version of this product?

                For example, check if the brand you chose is conscious about the environment, for example, are the products they manufacture energy efficient? Do they try to use less packaging?

                Also, if you often find yourself buying too many groceries, promise to buy only the amount that fits in one shopping bag (that you bring along). If you often forget to take your shopping bag with you, get yourself a 2-in-1 wallet with a built-in shopping bag for more eco-friendly shopping.

                6. Learn to Unplug from Your Phone

                Today’s world is crammed with information, and many people struggle to keep focus on what’s truly important. There’s just too much going on in the world – too much to read, to watch, to know, too many conversations to participate in.

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                But how to refuse the temptation to check the phone and start using social media in a controlled, not a compulsive way?

                Some tips for managing your phone-dependency:

                Spend only a limited amount of battery per day

                For example, start your day with 50% battery life, and manage your phone usage so that you’ll make it till the evening.

                Block distracting apps and notifications on your phone and computer

                Choose one-hour, two-hour or longer blocking sessions and enjoy the positive impact this will have on your mood and productivity.[3]

                Set your phone on flight mode

                When you start doing an important task that requires full focus, set your phone on flight mode so that nobody can disturb you.

                Leave your phone at home or in the office when you go for lunch

                You’ll see that the feeling of being unreachable for a moment is actually very liberating.

                The Bottom Line

                As a new year begins, we’re all excitedly looking forward to what adventures await ahead of us.

                But this year, promise yourself this:

                Instead of having a never-ending list of tasks and commitments, focus on the truly meaningful ones. And cross-out all the rest without feeling guilty.

                Less is more. Make this year count. We’re all rooting for you.

                Featured photo credit: Brooke Lark via unsplash.com

                Reference

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