Balancing Acts: Does Multi-Tasking Really Work?
February 17, 2023 · Lifestyle · People

Balancing Acts: Does Multi-Tasking Really Work?

We live in a fast-paced world where juggling multiple tasks at once has become the norm. From answering emails during a conference call to cooking dinner while keeping an eye on the kids, multi-tasking has become a survival skill for many of us. But does multi-tasking really work? We asked five of our fave brand-leaders if they multi-task, if it works for them and what tips they have for us all...

Rosie Browning, Founder of KNOW THE ROSE

Do you multi-task? I do! As a creative who works mostly independently I find myself multi tasking most days and as I work mostly independently, I just have to. 

Do you think you do it well? I’ve learnt to do it well, and I find it more enjoyable to work through tasks when I have bursts of motivation to do them. 

 What are your thoughts about multi-tasking? Do you actually get more completed - or does it have the opposite effect? For me, it breaks my day up, it keeps me moving and keeps things interesting. However if I am on a deadline I will break my jobs into stations and work through them one by one. If I’m working on something important where I’m likely to make mistakes, I’ll make sure I focus on that one thing until it’s complete. For my business, I do find multi tasking to be the most productive way of me working through the day, however I definitely think there’s certain tasks you just can’t!

Do you have any multi-tasking tips? Write a to do list! And stick to it. Everyday I put aside time to write out a plan of my day, of things I’d like to achieve and things I must get done. I try to start with my least enjoyable or highest priority job for the day so that it’s over and done with, and then I can get on with all the smaller things on my list. Then at the end of the day, I mark off everything I’ve completed and carry anything I haven’t over to the next day.

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James Bartle, Founding CEO at OUTLAND DENIM

Do you multi-task? No, unfortunately I don't seem to have the brain width to manage more than one thing at a time.

Do you think you do it well? Even though I'm not especially good at multitasking I find It inspirational to watch other members of our team kick multiple goals at once.

What are your thoughts about multi-tasking? Do you actually get more completed - or does it have the opposite effect? I think it's a great thing in some roles and not in others. I think anyone working in PR, design or in our development team needs to be able to do it well, I feel I'm more productive if I start and finish a project, even though that rarely happens.

Do you have any multi-tasking tips? To multi-task well you need to be well organised, so a system that provides you the ability to record where each task is at is important.

SHOP Outland Denim here and in-store

Ariane Leondaridis and Katia Kelso, Co-Founders of ILIO NEMO

Do you multi-task?  Ariane: Yes, as a small business, Katia and I multi-task all day long! Doing the work of 5. In my opinion, multi-tasking can be a good way to break the boredom of routine work and stay active and interested. Although you must be hyper aware and vigilant and be very present in what you do. You really use your brain and you work fast. It makes you grow and learn a lot! Katia and I do so many different things, and it makes us very proud to be able to execute so much on our own. We are very independent and resilient. It is very effective, you don't have to brief anyone else, and you get things done the way you like. 

Do you think you do it well? Katia: I have been multi-tasking most of my career so have mastered the art. I have always worked for independent labels so have been part of much smaller teams in which everyone is multi-tasking. It's a really exciting time to be part of a company when they are growing. I'm grateful for this experience as it gave me the tools to start and grow something of our own. 

What are your thoughts about multi-tasking? Do you actually get more completed - or does it have the opposite effect?  Ariane: There is down-side to multi-tasking in my opinion. I think sometimes you get less completed and it can be exhausting as you struggle to see your way through to the end point. I think there is a real advantage in specialising and applying yourself to one task, this is when you really master and specialise your skills. Especially when it comes to artisanal crafts. Our artisans are very skilled as they have focused and work on their craft for years.  I think social media makes us believe we should wear all the hats at once but beware the frustration and overwhelm can reduce the sense of satisfaction that comes with a job completed from start to finish. 

Do you have any multi-tasking tips? Katia: My tip for multi-tasking is- don't take on too much at once, keep your focal point in mind and know what you want to achieve at the end and how the various tasks can help you get there.

SHOP Ilio Nema here and in-store

Georgie Cavanagh, Co-Founder of CARLOTTA + GEE 

Do you multi-task? Yes, I definitely multi-task everyday - it is the only way I could possibly get through everything. I think as I have gotten older, I have learnt ways to do so and really make it work for me.

Do you think you do it well? I do think I do it well - I am very organised with my time which helps as well and will plan my days and the tasks. Then I will multi-task to get through the amount I set myself to do each day - for example if I know I have phone calls to do I will save them for when I am driving to the warehouse (on hands free of course) or if I have to meet with someone if appropriate I might meet them for a walk so I ensure I exercise daily. 

What are your thoughts about multi-tasking? Do you actually get more completed - or does it have the opposite effect? I do think I get more done. I used to try to cram too much on my plate and then if I was to multi-task it wouldn't work and have the opposite effect. However I have now learnt which tasks can go together and the key is being organised and having the day planned first. If not, it won't work.

Do you have any multi-tasking tips? Group the various tasks together so you can see which ones work together i.e. if you know you have a bunch of errands and running around in the car, plan the day and then group them together so you get them all done in a certain time in the one area. Then if you have any online meetings where you can group them close together so you don't have any wasted down time. Or if you have a small gap, use that time to do one or two other small tasks to get them kicked off your list for the day.

SHOP Carlotta + Gee in-store.

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Balancing Acts: Does Multi-Tasking Really Work?

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