Ah, multitasking. Love it or hate it, it’s a reality of today’s world. Doing many things at once is an inevitable part of being an entrepreneur, a business owner or a team member. And, the art of getting it right, and making sure that its a productive habit vs. a hindrance, is the key to it working or not working.
Here at Brief, we wanted to build a platform that helps you remain productive while juggling various tasks. Brief is a productivity app that brings focus, collaboration and organization to your day. You can easily see all your key tasks for the day at a glance, along with all important communications with your team, clients, and managers.
Entrepreneurs have to wear many different hats every day. They have to be the multitasker extraordinaire. From building, managing, branding or launching a new product, to dealing with multiple partners and suppliers every day – you have to do it all. Not only that, you have to make it look effortless and seamless too! Or if you’re a freelancer who has to manage multiple client requests, various research projects, and deadlines – multitasking is probably your middle name. It’s your game plan when the going gets tough. We get you.
You are certainly not the only one doing it. The data speaks for itself. We:
- Bounce from one task to another nearly 300 times per day
- Switch between documents and pages within a site 1,300 times per day.
- Check our communication apps 40 times a day, or once every 7.5 minutes per day.
- Check our email 88 times, or 11 times every hour per workday.
With Brief, you can get so much more done, faster. You have all your important communications in one platform. It helps you focus by giving you the necessary to tools to start your day by prioritizing what lies ahead of you, getting you into a conscious decision-making mode of what is important for the day and what is not, and then to carefully lay out your key tasks and to-dos for the upcoming hours.
Instead of having to tap dance around multiple email accounts, you can easily chat with your team, clients, and partners, and convert key action items into tasks, instantly. These tasks can then be given a deadline with a timely reminder. The goal at Brief is for you not to be working for hours and hours at a time, while you switch back and forth between multiple tasks. Our productivity tool is designed to harness high-level focus and concentration in a world where distractions and constant demands are the names of the game.
We all have those cringe-worthy multitasking stories…
But let’s be honest, multitasking can come with its fair share of faux pas. You know those ones that make you blush with embarrassment or instant regret? We’ve all had them.
Remember this poor woman who was working from home while perusing Reddit and Facebook? A question was posed in her work chat room and she knew the answer was in one of their internal Google Docs. She looked it up, copied and pasted it into the chat. Simple, right? Not so fast. Instead, she pasted lewd content meant for a friend she was chatting with on Facebook. Suffice it to say, it did not go well with her boss and she had some explaining to do afterward!
When multitasking, it is always important to take those extra 4 seconds to check and take stock of what we are doing/sending just before we hit that all-too-easy-to-push send button.
If that’s not embarrassing enough, another employee was airing his frustrations about his boss to a friend while talking on the phone with a client. He sent a text to his friend but yup, you guessed it, he sent it to his boss instead.
Brief helps users to be more in control of their actions and focus areas throughout the day. Whether it’s to edit a typo that makes you appear unprofessional or delete unintended shared content, we’ve created our messaging tool for real-life situations, multitasking oversights and all.
Have you ever sent an email to the wrong person? The perennial workplace mistake. Accidental emails can be humorous and other times, they are simply cringe-worthy. Freakonomics author and podcaster Stephen J. Dubner had a famous oopsie email moment. He was in contact with researchers for his book which didn’t end well. Dubner emailed his co-author, economist Steven Levitt, and referred to the researchers as a “bunch of liars”. Unfortunately, that email went straight into one of the “liars” inbox.
Some accidental emails can even cost your job. A female graduate intern working for Deloitte in London quit after an embarrassing email. The unfortunate message involved a discussion on how attractive the men were at the company and asked her work colleagues to vote for the most attractive of the bunch. It was supposed to be sent to a small group of office friends but instead, it went out to the whole company. The email soon went viral and she… lost her job. Not all accidental emails are due to multitasking, of course, but researchers have found that unconsciously managed multitasking can increase the rate of small errors by 50 percent.
Blunders aside, multitasking definitely has its place and we all do and need to do it if we are to stand any chance of survival in today’s fast-paced, always-on world. Taking the time to stand back, focus and ensure you have your wits and focus on it, is the key to making sure it brings you pace and benefit vs. actually slowing you down.
Your multitasking brain
Ever wondered what really happens to your brain while you’re multitasking? Say you’re in a meeting. Your boss is discussing the company latest roadmap plans, while you type away an important follow-up email with a potential client.
Well, a study by the University of London found that people who do that saw their IQ drop by 15 points, leaving them with the IQ of an average 8-year-old child. So before you hit that “send” button, remember that your email may well end up looking like it was written by a child. Is that content you’d really want to share with a someone? A possible future client or influential company stakeholder? Probably not.
The case for deep work
Building new ideas requires that you step back and take stock of your thoughts, and the process, on a regular basis. Search deeply for what you / the world needs and seek solutions in the most unimaginable ways. This sometimes calls for silence, stillness, and space. Getting results also means setting aside time for completely focused, deep work.
Since we’re in this state of constant stimulation, we’re also always turning around new and fresh thoughts. Hence our ever-growing list of ideas. Whether it’s work related (new business or product ideas) or creative endeavors (screenplay or song ideas) – we all need a way to manage it all.
We may feel like we’re drowning under the things we want to do versus the time we have to do them all in. Not to mention, all the life-supporting drudgery that must get done like cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, sorting out kids, cleaning the house and occasionally, having some sort of a social life. Brief helps you step back, focus your mind and stay on top of key tasks and deadlines so you don’t miss a beat.
Prioritize your time on a weekly basis, turn off all your notifications and time-block at least 90 minutes so you can focus intensely on a specific skill you’re learning, brainstorm solutions to a problem, or tackle a work project. By working in stillness, you’re applying the specific relevant circuit in your brain to fire, again and again. This gets you in the zone and working at your optimal level. With Brief, there are no bright notifications that will lure you back into the world of mindless multitasking. A successful day is a stepping stone to a long, successful career and a happy life. We believe in making your day more manageable, focused and action-oriented.
The effective multitasker
There are times when multitasking is simply the best solution. You may be working on a project roadblock with some work colleagues while brainstorming new solutions. Brief makes this all much easier for you by offering the flexibility of hopping on a quick video call where ideas can flow faster among team members. You can then summarize and share outcomes from the call in your Team Hubs, and quickly assign tasks and deadlines to the actions from the call, within the Hub. That way, everyone knows what is expected of them and when. No gray zone and less wasted time towards an effective end goal.
At its core, we multitask in a bid to achieve more. We want this in our personal and professional lives too. That’s why our key features work together with you to own your day like it is your own business. By setting boundaries with your time and prioritizing your day with Brief, you can get more done and have time leftover for relaxation. A healthy work-life balance is our end goal.
Remember your first task is to be a good human. This is the forgotten area of multitasking. Yes, you can write product requirements while checking Twitter. But mistakes in multitasking don’t just happen with numbers and letters, they happen with people too. When you type your instant message while talking with someone, you do manage to send two messages. Unfortunately, one of those messages is, ‘You’re not important enough to receive my undivided attention.’ Multitasking can be a true asset when it’s done correctly. As a productivity tool, Brief works together with you to ensure your key tasks get done. We remove the clutter of day-to-day life and help your day become a laser-focused one.
Multitasking is here to stay. Stay tuned as we’ll soon be sharing some creative ways to become an effective multitasker in the age of distractions.
In the meantime, we would love to hear some of your most amusing/embarrassing multi-tasking moments. At the end of each month, we will be running a competition with our readers to find some of the “best stories about those smile-worthy moments.”
Monthly winners will get a mention on our Instagram and Facebook feeds and win a $40 Amazon gift voucher. Post your stories in the comments section of the blog using #TellUsInBrief.
Terms & Conditions
- Please submit your entries into the comment section of our blog, under the ‘The Multitasker Extraordinaire’ post
- Deadline for entries is October 9th
- Our winners will be announced on October 15th
- The winner will be announced and get a shoutout in a follow-up social post, linking to the blog post, to be posted on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin
- Finally, your $40 Amazon voucher will be on its way to you within two weeks after the winner has been announced. Our team will be in touch with you to arrange delivery