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5 Productive Ways to Multitask

5 Productive Ways to Multitask

In this day and age – where production is slowly (but surely) moving to computer programs and various other expedited means – it can be difficult for the average person to keep up. In an attempt to balance the scale- many of us have taken to multitasking as a way of life.

Multitasking has become such a fundamental part of being a functioning person in today’s society that it is now all too common. Having been popularized not only in the workplace but in our daily lives, it can be easy to become lost in the fray of action.

Though some people may have their gripes with the idea of multitasking as a way of life, the fact of the matter is, that sooner or later we will all have to make a place for it in our lives -if for no other reason than to keep up with our peers and societal demands. For those ready to make the transition, here are 5 ways to multitask better.

1. Have a plan

One of the major things that can go wrong in the execution of multitasking, is not having a plan-of-action. The idea of multitasking is to streamline a group of basic tasks in a way that is functional, actionable, and above all time-saving. By not having a plan you are essentially swinging blindly at your responsibilities.

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Rather than rushing to attack all of your obstacles at once, try taking a moment or two to think of the most effective way to begin, progress, and eventually complete your tasks. Remember, it’s never a good idea to sacrifice doing your job properly, in exchange for doing it quickly. Multitasking is meant to assist and improve your day-to-day activity – not hinder it by creating preventable problems. Having a plan of action can help you to avoid plausible complications.

2. Have a goal

Another thing to be aware of before, (or soon after you begin) your activity, is what exactly you are working towards. All too often we see people (in the office, classroom, store, etc.) who appear to be burnt out – yet are overly persistent in their need to exhaust themselves. They’re often times flustered, agitated, and generally absent-minded in their actions.

Though there could be several issues at work here – more often times than not – you will find that this is a person dead-set on completing tasks, yet they have no end-game. Their goal is to simply run until their tank is empty. This is never a good idea.

By having a goal in mind throughout the day, you provide yourself with a proper pace, clear thought, and an ability to execute precise action – because you are fully aware of exactly what needs to be done. Don’t allow the lure of seeming busy to tempt you into wildly running in circles. Set a proper goal and stick to it. Once your tasks are completed, then you can decide whether or not to add to your to-do list. Remember, those other people may look busy, but at the end of the day – it will be obvious who was more efficient, effective, and above all productive.

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3. Plan your breaks

As a sort of tangent to the previous advice – plan your break. The midday lunch break, the fifteen-minute rest, or even a moment to collect your thoughts – are all crucial parts of getting through the day smoothly. While multitasking, it can become extremely easy to get lost in the days “goings -on”. To battle this, it is recommended that instead of waiting for your stomach to growl, your body to ache, or your mind to fog – plan a break for yourself around a time that you know that you’d normally need one.

If you’re unsure when this time is, or have an eclectic schedule – attempt to isolate a similar block of time every day, and protect it. This respite will help you to power through the day’s obstacles, helping you to more easily see what’s left to accomplish, it also allows for any recalibration of your plan – if necessary.

Don’t sell it short. Breaks are not strictly for the lazy or tired. In fact, you may find that it’s the deciding factor between completing your day’s responsibilities – or not.

4. Be Present

A mistake all too common (particularly in the workplace) when concerning multitasking, is the idea that it’s okay, or even advantageous  to “zone” out into your work. This, unfortunately is untrue. Sure, if you’re an artist of sorts, it can be fun and beneficial to “lose yourself” in your project – but in the real world, it’s imperative to remain aware, vigilant, and responsive.

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When you are going without a goal, or have a plan that is not readily adaptable to new information, you are putting yourself in a position where you are vulnerable to making simple mistakes. The lack of attention to the changing environment could not only throw your entire plan of multitasking off the rails but also lead to some dire consequences.

Stay mentally present when you’re multitasking, save the daydreaming for your breaks.

5. Know when to shut off

As mentioned at the beginning of this piece, it can be easy to bring the habit of multitasking with you throughout the day. From work to home – efficiency can be addicting. It is because of this that it’s important to know when to “shut off”.

Have your daily goals set, and once you meet them – take it easy. Remember that the only reason we strive for efficient and effective execution is to save time and energy for the things in life that should not be expedited. We are multitasking to assist our downtime. Never forget to take a moment each day to appreciate your life, the people in it, and all that it’s allowed you to enjoy. That’s one thing that the machines will never have over us.

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Work hard. Live harder.

Featured photo credit: Carrie Smith via flickr.com

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Antwan Crump

Novelist, blogger, essayist, podcaster.

What Happens When Ego Closes Our Mind but We Aren’t Aware of It The Hardest Part of Being a Minimalist That Most People Have Overlooked 5 Ways to Beat Procrastination How to Survive the Holidays. 5 Productive Ways to Multitask

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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