The process of building and developing a business is complex, and as an entrepreneur, you may be responsible for a vast amount of tasks. So, you could end up doing invoicing, administration, sales, marketing, client delivery, and just outsourcing the most specialized tasks such as accounting and graphic design. Even if multitasking is an essential capability for entrepreneurs, it is also associated with the early-stage problems of a startup blocking its path to success.
Let´s review some of the problems related to multitasking and how to improve productivity and boost your path to success.
Multitasking is the most natural response if you are building a business, but in most cases bouncing back and forth between tasks is not more than tasks switching and not multitasking. That means your brain must reorient itself each time you switch, spending a lot of energy readjusting and applying a new set of cognitive rules for the next task.
A classic case study from 2013 estimated that multitasking costs global businesses $450 billion each year, and more recent evidence suggest that multitasking is also affecting productivity, rate of failure, and even causing an IQ decline. These studies show how it could take 50% longer to complete something, being 50% more likely to make mistakes when switching tasks, and how your brain experiences an IQ decline similar to those who have stayed up all night when multitasking.
So, the next time you are overwhelmed with multiple tasks, stop and take a breath. It is critical to organize your responsibilities to avoid draining the energy that could be invested in chasing new businesses or bringing in more sales. These are some tips to improve your productivity while multitasking:
Plan Well And Set Priorities
Make a list of all your daily tasks and set priorities, as a business owner, your tasks do not – and should not – carry the same weight. If you have a plan with realistic deadlines for each item, you can register your progress as you move along.
Group Tasks Together
When you string similar tasks together, you minimize the switching drain of energy, as it would be easier for your brain to adjust between activities.
Manage Your Time Carefully
Be aware of your availability and the nature of your tasks to block specific time frames for each activity. For instance, you can check emails at set times, to avoid being distracted by oncoming mail, or block the morning for the most important and delicate tasks to avoid interruptions. Give your full attention to one project for a set time, and you will improve the quality and time delivery of your projects.
Only Multitask When You Don’t Need To Devote Your Full Attention
Keep in mind that multitasking limits your attention, and increases your chances of making mistakes. So, if you have an important task, give it your full attention. For example, you can respond to emails while listening to music or take a non-critical call while walking or driving, but avoid distractions while writing a client proposal or developing a sales plan.
Get An Extra Set Of Hands
If you can invest your time in important things for your company, why not bring an extra set of hands to deal with the supporting areas of your company? Hiring a virtual executive assistant can release pressure on your day-to-day responsibilities, completing basic tasks and arranging your schedule. You can start with part-time dedication and move progressively to a full-time virtual assistant. This will force you to let go, and the virtual assistant can build systems for you as your business grows.
There are many affordable ways to hire a virtual assistant, and nearshoring can help you to get highly qualified employees at a cost-effective rate.
At Shark Helpers we can provide talented Colombian professionals for back office support areas, marketing, and IT roles, to build up different areas of your company.
Schedule a call to discuss how our services can help you move from multitasking to business growth.