8 Ways to Stop Multitasking And Get Work Done

Triple Tasking

From busy individuals I often hear, “I’m a good multi-tasker.”

Yet, when you look at what they are accomplishing it is often fraught with errors, mistakes, and additional effort due to rework.

Does multitasking get more done?

Or does it just run you ragged in the name of additional work?

Triple-Tasking or Triple the Work?

I was recently working with an individual who seemed to do everything at the same time. She was answering the phone, texting on her cell, and answering emails all at once.

Which task do you think she was actually accomplishing?

The answer was… none.

She had to keep asking the person on the phone to repeat details. She had a half-written email that ended up in her “Drafts” folder. And she managed to send a hastily constructed text message complete with a few choice auto-correct typos.

“Multitasking means doing more at a lesser quality of work.” (Tweet this Quote)

This individual was very busy. But, she wasn’t getting much done.

In fact, she was creating more work for herself.

She had to call the person back to confirm some items she had missed in their conversation. She ended up rewriting the email from scratch. And she had to send an embarrassed followup to her non-sensical text message.

Stop the Multitasking

If you want to get more done in less time, you need to stop multitasking.

Instead of doing many things at half-effort, concentrate on your most important tasks… one at a time.

Otherwise, you’ll end up with 57 things started and nothing done.

Here Are 8 Ways to Stop Multitasking and Get More Done:

  1. Do One Thing at a Time – Contrary to the multi-tasker’s creed, you’ll actually get more tasks done by doing them individually. As well, you’ll do it quicker and with fewer mistakes and less rework.
  2. Be Present – Be present with your work and with those you are working with. Stay on your current todo and don’t let your focus float to other tasks. This means not checking email while you are meeting with someone. And it means not working during that meeting on your laptop.
  3. Finish Before You Start – Make sure you finish tasks to closure before starting the next one. There is great productivity momentum in finishing things to done before taking on the next task.
  4. Don’t Let Small Tasks Interrupt Big Ones – Resist letting small items interrupt big ones. Don’t pick up that 2 minute task just because it’s easy. Don’t answer that email just because you saw it drop into your inbox.
  5. Put Down the Tech – Technology has allowed us to work anywhere. That doesn’t mean you should. Close your email, turn off the phone, and put down the unneeded tech while you are working.
  6. Clean Your Workspace – A cluttered desk is a multi-tasker’s dream. Lots of random things to pick up and work on instead of your work. Clear your desk of everything but the task you intend to work on.
  7. Make An Appointment With Your Work – I am a big advocate of scheduling appointments with your toughest tasks. Designate time to work on one task or project. Go to a meeting room or work location if it helps concentrate on the task at hand.
  8. Eliminate Interruptions – Interruptions are multi-tasking in disguise. Prevent them by turning off the ringers/beeps, the email notifications, and yes, close your door if you must.

Do Less, Accomplish More

Doing many tasks at once isn’t the answer.

Concentrate on your work one important task at a time.

Multitasking divides your attention and leads to sloppy mistakes.

Focused and on-task gets the work done right the first time.

Question: Are you a multi-tasker or do you prefer to work on things one at a time? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

47 thoughts on “8 Ways to Stop Multitasking And Get Work Done

  1. I’ve found a key to numbers 1-5 and 8 is to turn off the notifications that you get from your email program, your social networks, and your apps. This alone has changed my life.

    1. Kwin, great point.

      Our technology notifications in general are on of the biggest distractions these days… (Sounds like another topic for a blog post… )

      1. Yes, please do; this is an idea that needs more exposure. I’ll send you links to some resources I’ve found.

  2. Mutlitasking just complicates everything. Splitting your attention has an impact on your productivity, concentration and energy. Multitasking is going to slow you down and increase the chances of mistakes. If you want to improve your productivity, then focus on doing one thing at a time.

  3. Time management is all about staying focused on our work and time. Many of the peoples still thinking to save time by multitasking.

    However, multitasking has some drawbacks when we try to complete two tasks at a time, then we need to face a lot of stress. To avoid facing such stressful situation, is better to use good time management software. In our office, we have been using time recording software from Replicon (
    http://www.replicon.com/olp/online-time-recording-software.aspx ). It is easy to use and can also manage my expenses with it efficiently.

  4. We (sloboda-studio.com) know there is a risk to get a useless website if you conduct quick development without deep analysis. And analysis requires a professional approach.

  5. thank you please am going to stop the habit coz even in my semesters it was distracting me .

  6. Thanks for sharing awesome article. Actually multitasking sometimes ruins all the work at a time as the person is trying to complete all work at once.

  7. Thanks for sharing this tips!
    Many people believed that they are good at multitasking but ended up producing mediocre tasks.
    Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well. It’s not about how far you have gone with many tasks but it about the quality of the output.
    Thank you very much once again for these eight helpful tips. I also believe that more can be accomplished by putting our whole attention on a task at a time.

  8. I have read your article, it is really interesting and has lots of useful information. I also recommend it to friends so they can read it and they see the same thing

Comments are closed.