The idea that women-led or owned businesses are usually on a small-scale basis, run out of homes and often have less than five employees, is old. We have outgrown the ‘cookies and crafts’ stereotype and have our sights set on bigger goals now. In case you haven’t noticed, we now manage boardrooms while keeping things in check at the home-front.
As women, we are wired to multi-task, whether as mothers, professionals, athletes, students, entrepreneurs or any of the other limitless titles we take on. It’s no wonder we are superwomen – efficient multi-tasking demands a lot of discipline! If you’re still trying to uncover your super-powers, this article will help.
Practice how to multi-task
Practice is essential to mastering any skill. Take a look at all you need to do in a day and pick a few routine tasks to start with. Begin with carrying out few routine tasks, then move on to slightly more difficult ones. Introducing a routine involves doing specific tasks at the same time, the same way, every day. Once something becomes routine, it gets easier, even if you’re not totally focused on it.
Make a to-do list
At the close of every work day, make a list of tasks for the next day. This will help you both prioritize and plan for the next day, while ensuring that you address the most important tasks first.
Pay attention to the task at hand
Steer clear of distractions; be wary of emails, chats, and other interference. If working from home, try isolating yourself from family-related intrusions, if at all possible. Minimizing distractions allow for undivided concentration.
Schedule tasks and set time frames.
Schedule everything breaks, eating, workouts -even showers. Have a deadline or a short turn-around time for tasks, and you’ll surpass your expectations. Through trials and errors, you learn how best and fast to complete tasks. Also, avoid the tendency to take on more than you can handle.
You need to have a clear understanding of what tasks are more important. That way, you are able to give more attention to high-yielding tasks. The low payoff items should be at the bottom. Following up on clients, returning calls and generating new leads should be at the top, but emailing a friend to tell them about your date doesn’t fall into that category.
Take Note: If you have 10 or 20 priorities, you don’t really have priorities.
Know when you work best
I work in consultancy, and more often than not, my work can be done at any time of day. However, I work better in the mornings, so I try scheduling work for that time when I am the most productive. Each person has a best time for work. Discover yours by monitoring your productivity on a daily basis, then learn to dedicate your best time of the day for your most important work.
Group similar tasks
Activities that are similar, are easier to work on at the same time. Consider setting specific times for checking emails during the day instead of checking every other time. When organizing priorities, try grouping similar tasks, as focusing on similar activities, maximizes effectiveness.
Everyone talks about how awesome it is to multi-task, but let’s be honest, you can accomplish much more with extra hands! Some people are of the belief that multitasking is all theory, and so, impossible. But, tasks still have to get done in the shortest time possible. Assess the tasks you are personally able to, and the ones good enough for delegation. For example, writing social media updates and having someone else edit them for posting.
Use waiting time efficiently
Always take along some work, especially if you have to be in places like the airport, bank, or doctor’s office, where waiting is inevitable.
Take time out
Allow yourself some needed rest. Take a break when you can, take walks around the building or just meditate. If you feel overwhelmed, to improve concentration, replenish your body with water or a snack.
Learn to say NO
Know your limitations, so you aren’t biting off more than you can chew.
Culled from SLA, SHE LEADS AFRICA