Constant multitasking has become the norm in every area of life, from consuming content to doing work. This is especially true in the workplace. It’s not uncommon to switch back and forth multiple times between email inboxes, chat channels, video conferences, project management software, and document or spreadsheet files—all within the same 30-minute span. All that swiveling (combined with the occasional scroll on social media) can snowball into a major loss of valuable time at work.
Research in Harvard Business Review shows that an average office worker will jump between different applications 1,200 times each day, resulting in about four hours wasted per week. Over the course of a year, that culminates into more than one month of lost productivity.
It takes a few seconds for the brain to refocus after you switch from one platform to another. This means multitasking causes distractions, impairs concentration, and negatively impacts cognitive function.
We’re all about productivity here at 4PSA. So we’re sharing our most efficient hacks to stop multitasking and wasting time and start taking control of your time at work once and for all.
Centralize your workflow on a single platform
Large companies often have more than 200 virtual tools and channels in their tech stacks, according to a recent Businesses at Work survey. Many small organizations use an extensive suite of applications too.
While technology does streamline certain functions, it’s both inefficient and inconvenient to access a different platform for every task. You can save time just by consolidating your entire workflow in one central location.
For example, a team collaboration platform like Hubgets makes it easy to integrate the entire communication flow.
Automate repetitive and non-essential tasks
Low-priority assignments (like emails, invoices, and data entry) are part of any job—but you don’t need to perform them manually. While 94 percent of workers agree these functions are repetitive and time-consuming, according to Zapier, 2 out of 3 agree that task automation boosts their productivity. In addition, 34 percent of small business leaders also report that automation curbs human error and allows them to spend less time on administrative work.
Why waste 30 minutes typing numbers into a spreadsheet when an AI software program can do it for you with just a few clicks? Why craft a painstaking e-newsletter for your subscribers each month when an email scheduler can create the template, segment your audience, then send out the content automatically?
Remove these tasks from your to-do list to free you up to focus on essential projects that require more effort and attention.
Batch your projects to cut down on switching
We’ve established that task switching is ineffective, but the opposite of this—task batching—could turn you into a time management powerhouse. According to Maria Konnikova, the author of Multitask Masters, about 97 percent of humans concentrate best when they perform a single type of job instead of trying to accomplish two unrelated functions.
That’s where batching comes in. Using this technique, you categorize similar tasks into one overarching project to do at once. For example, you might have a few content tasks on your list, like:
- Writing an article
- Updating website copy
- Scheduling a social media post
- Creating a video presentation
Batch these together since they use many of the same tools and also require a creative way of thinking.
Mute notifications during the deep work hours
The ping of a new email, the chime of a social media alert, or the buzz of a text message can interrupt your flow state, derailing momentum for the rest of the workday. In fact, 75 percent of Americans think digital notifications cause procrastination and distractions. The average person also wastes about 8 hours each week monitoring these notifications.
In a culture that’s glued to virtual entertainment and communication, it might seem like those distractions are inevitable. Yet, there’s a simple, time-saving solution: mute notifications on all devices and platforms to focus on mentally demanding deep work.
This simple shift eliminates the temptation to check that inbox, scroll on Instagram, or answer a text when other priorities should have your full attention. The pings can resume once you’re done.
Or better yet, use Hubgets powerful artificial intelligence layer than enables you to work uninterrupted.
Double-check a deliverable before submitting it
Did you know 83 percent of workers spend 1 to 3 hours a day fixing human errors? In the same amount of time at work it takes to correct your own (or someone else’s) mistake, you could be making more impactful contributions. To minimize this unnecessary and avoidable loss of productivity, set aside just a few minutes to review your work and confirm it’s accurate before submitting it.
This will require some extra attention to detail on the front end, but optimize efficiency in the long term. Make it a habit to double-check everything you send out and encourage your employees and co-workers to do the same.
Only smart time management hacks
Let go of multitasking once and for all! Use these quick, simple, efficient strategies to transform how you use your time at work, streamline your schedule, and elevate your performance as a whole.
And remind your team to do the same!