Growth Trends for Related Jobs

How to Multitask at Work

careertrend article image
Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

In the modern office it is not unusual to see an employee checking email, talking on the phone and instant messaging with a client, all at the same time. This kind of multitasking can allow workers to get more done during the day, but it can also cause distraction if not used properly. Learning how to multitask the right way means looking at your priorities and focusing your attention on the projects that are the most critical to your success and that of the company you work for.

Type out a list of your routine daily tasks -- the things you must do each day regardless of what else is on your plate. Save that list to a spreadsheet or word-processing document and keep it open on your desktop.

Check off each of the items on your daily list as you complete them. Reset the list for the next day once all of your daily tasks are done.

Keep your email program open at all times. Many email programs cannot send you new mail notifications when the program is closed. If you keep your mail program closed, you could miss an important message from a supervisor or coworker.

Open each program as a task comes up, then keep that program open until that task is completed. If you are required to write multiple letters or create multiple spreadsheets during the course of the day, you might want to leave your word processor and spreadsheet program open all the time.

Ask your boss if the company uses an instant messaging service such as Microsoft Office Communicator. Get the program installed on your computer and use it to ask and answer questions while you do your other work.

Use the mute button on your telephone when you are on a conference call but not required to speak or offer input. Take notes on the meeting as you go, while also checking your email and instant messages.


Based in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Conrad has been working as a professional freelance writer since 2003. Her work can be seen on Credit Factor, Constant Content and a number of other websites. Conrad also works full-time as a computer technician and loves to write about a number of technician topics. She studied computer technology and business administration at Harrisburg Area Community College.