Sep 09 2013
If you’re a webmaster, blogger or SEO, then you are probably at least somewhat adept at multitasking. No doubt you are used to having multiple windows open at once and rapidly flicking between the work you’re doing. Probably your computer is constantly pushed to its limits, but the real question is whether your brain can cope with all that information at once and whether you can keep it up without seeing a drop in performance.
Here we will look at some tips and hacks to help ensure that both your brain and your tech can cope, and to help you complete more work in less time. Read on to start getting more out of your brain.
Whether or not your technology can cope is one thing, the real question is whether or not you can fit all of those tasks onto one screen without things getting a bit cramped and uncomfortable.
The solution of course is to have a multi-monitor set up, which is something that all true multi-taskers will have to invest in. And don’t worry if you don’t have space or money for multiple full screens: you can accomplish the same thing essentially by using a smartphone with the right app along with a stand. This way your Android can become your second screen and respond to your mouse and keyboard setup. Alternatively you can just use your phone in front of you as a way to research topics or check e-mails to free up space on your main display.
Or why not use a TV monitor with a HDMI cable in order to use that as a makeshift monitor? Or even just have two PCs/laptops running at once with access to a shared folder. There are plenty of options and plenty of ways to get more screen space to work with.
With all those screens open at once, you may find that your brain starts to struggle to switch between all those different tasks without your losing concentration. The solution is to spend some time actively training your ability to multitask and switch your focus/attention.
One way to do this is by playing a number of multitasking games (such as these: http://multitaskgames.com/) which challenge you to concentrate on multiple tasks at once. Alternatively though, you can also benefit from simply playing regular computer games that test your ability to think about more than one thing at a time: the indie-published PC/Xbox game ‘Bleed’ for instance is a brilliant test of your ability to react to multiple targets at once, while using a complex series of controls that really take some concentration just to get your head around. Play it on hard, and opening two documents at once will seem like child’s play.
Or of course you can just train-through-doing. For example, this might mean making a conscious effort to write while watching your e-mail, or to switch instantly from typing on subject to another without letting your attention wander in between. Studies have shown that this kind of training can improve our ability to multitasking, and there may be no upper limit to what we can accomplish.
Remove Outside Distractions
Likewise, you should also make sure that you remove any and all outside distractions. The thing many of us don’t consider is that we’re multitasking all the time without realising it – when we’re listening to music while typing, or when we’re sending e-mails with the TV on. This all uses up your multitasking capability, so by removing those unnecessary distractions you can make more ‘room’ for taking on other more useful tasks.
The aim then should be relative sensory deprivation. Sit facing a wall, and don’t put on any interesting music or television with lyrics. If you need some music to help make the experience less dull, then choose something classical or electronic that doesn’t feature any vocals.
Be On Form
Finally, you also need to ensure that you are on full form when you’re working and that you aren’t tired or distracted. Multitasking uses up a lot of focus and mental energy, and particularly when you start out. Ensure then that you get plenty of sleep and that you stop regularly to eat. Having a banana halfway through your morning may just make all the difference to your ability.
John Miller enjoys writing about his work experiences at WebFirm, a company that specializes in social media strategies. He enjoys spending his free time in learning foreign languages and experimenting with exotic cuisines.