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Cutting Out the Clutter

By Hayley Lardinais, Account Coordinator

For most of us, multitasking has become an inevitable staple of our work and personal lives. So much so, that one’s ability to tackle many tasks simultaneously is now considered an important skill in being successful and efficient in many areas of work. Even as I write this article I will admit I’m occasionally checking my email and answering the phone! While we may feel like we are accomplishing double the work, there are endless studies that say otherwise. Instead of focusing on 2 things at the same time we are actually switching our attention continuously between the 2 tasks. As a result, diminishing our productivity and attention to BOTH of the tasks. While it may not be realistic to cut out multitasking altogether, there are several ways for us to combat the potential distractions:

  1. Turn off any audio cues, alarms or notifications on devices that may alert you to new messages, emails, or tasks.
  2. Set boundaries with yourself and your coworkers – in order to eliminate external distractions, block off time on your calendar for specific tasks and projects that you know will require your complete attention and focus.
  3. Schedule breaks! If you have a designated 15 minutes to check your phone, eat a snack or take a walk, the chances of wanting to do those things while engaged in a task will decrease. 
  4. Prioritize your tasks with a to-do list and work your way down the list one item at a time. Try not to jump around the list or begin a task until the other is complete.
  5. Be mindful. This step is simple but important! Be aware of your own urges and actively combat them when you begin to feel yourself becoming distracted.

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