Unproductive multi-tasking is more common than you think
Prioritizing tasks can improve job satisfaction
High level multi-taskers may have a harder time filtering out irrelevant data
The results of the Stanford study suggests that high level multi-taskers have a greater tendency towards distraction that can lead towards sacrificing performance on the immediate task at hand. While multitasking is a generally accepted practice, and almost certainly a requirement for any small business professional, carefully defining the importance of each task at hand and allotting specific time to priority tasks increases productivity and can improve general job satisfaction. Prioritizing your communications with project based to-do lists is a step in the right direction, allowing you to concentrate on the task at hand and not the task of the moment. To determine the priority of a task presenting itself to you, ask yourself these 3 questions:
Is what I am doing important now?
Do I have all the information needed to proceed with this task?
Am I the best person to handle this or can it be delegated to someone else?
Streamlining your tasks and, when necessary, unplugging from the constant stream of communications coming your way, is a surefire method to increasing your productivity without compromising your overall effectiveness.