How to learn to switch between tasks – experts answer
The specifics of the development of modern business is such that you have to work in a continuous stream of tasks of various importance levels that are constantly being received. In addition, the requirements for decision-making speed have sharply increased. In response to these changes, approaches to solving problems with short planning cycles (iterations) from 2 to 4 weeks began to dominate in the industry. You draw up a clear plan of action for the next four weeks and adhere strictly to it. But among other things, you need to analyze the mistakes of the last stage, evaluate the tasks of the next cycle, and also have time to respond to urgent tasks with a high priority and do not forget about meeting with parallel teams. The work begins to reign chaos with the order of tasks and the relevance of their priorities. You can cope with this only by constantly switching between them, alternating the tasks of planning, implementation and consulting.
We arrange daily meetings with the team
It is impossible to get rid of multitasking, change the timing of decision-making – too. The only way out is to try to structure your work. This helps me daily meetings with the team. They return to reality and help to update the context of work. At meetings, we determine how priority the task is, why it is important to do it right now, what its deadline is, how many people are involved, and evaluate the cost of putting off each task. During such meetings, you begin to realize the priorities not only of your work, but also of the whole team, it becomes easier to structure further activities.
In my work, I often have to switch between roles. I can be a developer, technical consultant, technical analyst or business consultant. So that switching doesn’t take a lot of time, I try to combine tasks from different areas: I work on the technical for an hour, then on the analytical one – this is how clear frames appear in my head, and knowledge from one area does not mix up in a heap.
Making a to-do list
If I suddenly drop out of the agenda, for example, return to the task that was set a week ago, then a 5-minute dialogue with a colleague to repeat the current tasks helps to get back into the working channel and restore the context. In addition, I always have a notebook at hand, where I write down goals and thoughts for a particular task. He returned from negotiations, ran over his notes to the task, and again order was restored in my head.
Switch can't be looped
Each person has his own work style. Someone is able to work in a fast stream of similar tasks, sitting all day in the headphones in complete isolation from society. For me, this format of work is completely unsuitable. A couple of days of work on a task in isolation causes emptiness and emotional exhaustion. To prevent this, I try to alternate tasks that require isolation with those where it is necessary to communicate with people. So the work goes faster and more productively.
Find a nook
However, there are tasks that require increased attention. Their interruption only confuses and greatly slows down the process. In such cases, I try to leave the task at a time when no one distracts me. For better concentration, you can change your usual workplace to a new environment – work remotely, for example at home or in a cafe, leave to work in another department, sit on poufs or take construction headphones through which not the slightest sound passes.