As our lives get busier, multi-tasking becomes a necessity to cope with life’s demands. We may think that we are super human; that we can do it all with time to spare, when in reality we’re struggling to keep our heads above water.
So when does successful multi-tasking become drowning in responsibilities?
One of the earliest signs of drowning is displayed through your physical and mental health. You may begin to feel fatigued, develop a headache or become reliant on coffees to get you through the day. Physical symptoms are often overlooked – who has time for a headache when you have three deadlines to meet this week? However, humans are not superheroes, and it is important that we listen to our bodies when they are telling us something is wrong. So take a break, get some fresh air and listen to what your body needs.
Another sign of when multi-tasking becomes overwhelming is when you no longer have time for things that were once considered important. When going for runs on the weekend or having a night out with the family was once essential to your life, you now realise you haven’t done those things in months. Multi-tasking is not only applicable to your work, and work should not consume your life. Scheduling time for you to pursue your hobbies and passions outside of work is just as important as scheduling your meetings, so don’t forget to pencil them into your diary.
So how can we avoid drowning?
- Be reasonable with your expectations. You are not superhuman; you cannot attend five different meetings at the one time.
- Prioritise what is most important and tackle those things first.
- Ask for help. People are more than likely going to say yes.
- Schedule time for you.
- Listen to your body when it tells you to take a break.
Remember, multi-tasking is all well and great if utilised correctly, just don’t go overboard.