How to be effective at multitasking?

In today’s fast-paced business world, you would struggle to get through the working day without multitasking, but are you causing more harm than good?  

Businesses are becoming leaner by reducing employee numbers, focusing on efficiency and increasing the demand on staff. An increased workload forces us to multitask, which may be effective for a short period of time, but over the long term, can cause stress.

Multitasking is not about “piling on the work” to the point of exhaustion. It’s about training the brain to channel energy in an efficient and effective manner so you can accomplish more in less time. One of the keys to learning how to multitask effectively is to actually slow down, in order to accomplish more. 

Here are some tips to help you to be more effective at multitasking:

Set Priorities

Think of your brain as a computer, if you have numerous windows open so you can quickly jump from program to program, you may find that your computer crashes a lot, due to the strain. The same thing happens in your brain. When you’re performing multiple tasks that require your undivided attention, your brain gets overloaded, as it can only process information from one channel at a time. Therefore, do not multitask if something requires your full attention.

Useful tools

You can’t remember everything, so make lists and write things down. By having a central to-do list is helpful. Diarise time in your calendar for set tasks, like you would a meeting. To ensure you allocate the time to work on tasks rather than just being reactive to the here and now.

Shift multitasking to single tasking

Your brain cannot multi-task all the time. So, occasionally, stop multitasking and allow yourself time to focus on one thing. At the end of this “rest period”, you’ll feel refreshed, alert, and ready to tackle more tasks – and you’ll do so with fewer mistakes.

Take regular breaks

Avoid working through lunch and make sure to take a short break in the morning and afternoon. Take a walk around the building, sit outside, or do whatever you like for a few minutes to clear your head and give your brain a rest. Taking this time out during the day can actually make you more productive.


We hope you found these tips useful, please feel free to share them and to check back on our blog for more useful hints and tips along with changes in legislation and tax advice.

Leonherman has many years of experience working with businesses of all shapes and sizes; we work with you to ensure you stay on track to achieve your goals, get in touch or call 0161 249 5040