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Avoid Pressuring Your Company Employees to Multitask

Most sensitive employees have long suspected that multitasking is just a fantasy wish of hard-driving bosses. Yet it’s a term that’s now found its way into many job ads. “Must be able to multitask” implies that you really can type up a complex business report while speaking with a customer on the phone -- and scrolling through your emails to see if a particular subordinate is keeping in touch regularly.

Although some employers may wish that they could force each employee to do the work of three or four people, all you often wind up doing is causing your employees to complete several tasks at well below their highest efficiency level.

A September 2014 Entrepreneur article entitled, “Pay Attention” argues strongly in favor of allowing workers to do their best on each important task -- instead of demanding that they juggle and try to master numerous tasks at once. Under an article subheading of “One thing at a time,” the author says that each time you switch back and forth between tasks, “it takes time for the brain neurons to figure out where they left off on [one] task, slowing performance by 50 percent or more.” (This statement is based upon a research conducted by University of Michigan Psychology Professor David Meyer).                                                                                                        

Important Suggestions for Helping Your Employees Work in a More Focused Manner

  • Suggest that they only check their email about two to three times a day at set times. Also, make sure that all audio reminders indicating that emails have arrived are kept turned “off” -- except when awaiting truly critical messages;
  • They should be urged to avoid making personal calls while working. Most family members find it quite easy to just text messages to one another when it’s absolutely necessary. Whenever possible, employees should just check for messages periodically;
  • Always consider adding at the bottom of business emails when “no reply is necessary.” This can save you and others considerable time;
  • Encourage workers to spend part of their lunch periods somewhere quiet. They may also want to consider meditating or doing deep breathing exercises. Obviously, these types of activities are easiest to pursue if the workers telecommute or have private offices and receptionists who can keep people from disturbing them;
  • Encourage employees to pursue activities away from work that can enhance their “focusing” skills. These can include playing chess, learning how to play an instrument, developing the skills required to speak a new foreign language – or even playing tennis or taking up archery.

Overtaxing people’s minds will almost always decrease their efficiency. In fact, “research shows that multitasking can have long-term harmful effects on brain function.”

To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia