Here’s How to Quit Multitasking with Kanban Workflow
Chances are you’re doing something else while reading this article. You might be in the middle of working on a proposal, talking to someone on the phone, in a meeting, drinking coffee, juggling tasks, you name it.
There is also a little possibility that you’re 100% concentrating on reading this article right now. But you sure engage in some multitasking throughout your day at work. Believe me, most of us do. We think that it’s a good thing to be busy that way.
We all, however, have read that multitasking is not effective. Research shows, there’s a negative impact of multitasking on your brain and it kills productivity.
Not beating around the bush: you get dumber by multitasking.
How fractured attention affects work?
If someone tells you: “We tend to lose business because of multitasking.”
We think: “Sure.”
We read about it ruining our work and not give up on multitasking our way through life.
If you think fractured attention doesn’t come at a cost, you are mistaken. In the United States, more than $650 billion is lost because of unnecessary interruptions. Further, the big chunk of that cost comes from the time it takes people to bounce back from an interruption and get back to work.
Multitasking makes you commit mistakes, miss important information and cues, which can hinder your problem-solving ability and creativity. In the attempt to multitask during all waking hours, we turn anxious, depressed, and socially isolated too. It doesn’t have to be this way, though.
Kanban workflow for the win!
At the heart of all these issues lies our inability to focus, which in turn stems from lack of intentionality. Maybe if we could be more intentional with our time and energy, we could regain the focus we require to feel content by work again.
It’s possible to keep our work from bleeding into other parts of your lives. Incorporating a work management software that offers Kanban boards to manage work will help you bring concentration into your day at work.
With Kanban boards, you can see work moving through multiple stages. They encourage to identify, prioritize, and thereby intentionally complete work items one at a time.
Practical ways Kanban can help us quit multitasking
Not only quit multitasking, Kanban also helps us bounce back from interruption, restore intentionality, and focus in our work.
Let’s explore how:
Providing the answer to: What’s next?
Whenever we get distracted from work, the first question that arises in our mind is: what’s next? In the wind whirl of ‘what was I doing?,’ ‘what was I up to?,’ ‘how do I reconnect with what I was working on?,’ and other questions alike, Kanban proves as a blessing to practice single-tasking. It actually makes us visualize and think through which tasks we require to complete—serving as visual reminders of what needs to get done.
ProTip: Start by opening your Kanban to see what’s left to do on your cards. An advanced Kanban software will allow you to associate different colors for each stage so that you can easily differentiate between them. You can also have labels like ‘high priority,’ ‘urgent’, etc. to make it easier for you to spot urgent work and do it on priority basis.
Cutting down on distractions
Because unplanned work is another killer of productivity, there has to be a system to prioritize one task over another. In case there’s not, everything feels urgent and drags us to multitasking yet and again. Kanban, for that matter, helps us minimize distractions. It provides a system that allows us to prioritize work.
Let’s say an unplanned work request comes your way, you can always calmly inform, “I’m in the middle of finishing the task C right now and will be having space to help you with the task D once I complete the task at hand.” Using Kanban to manage work will also help you turn off notifications. Notifications do more harm than good, unless your job truly requires you to be available at all times.
Finding work-life balance
Aren’t we all on an endless quest to find better work-life balance? Whenever we feel like we’re crushing it at work, we almost always end up neglecting important things. It could be anything from exercising, seeing friends, eating real food, or even spending time with family. On the contrary, when we feel like our personal lives are going on track, we feel guilty that we might not be giving our 110% at work. It’s a never-ending struggle.
I won’t tell you that using Kanban is going to help you achieve a Zen-like feeling of work-life balance. But Kanban sure helps you find more balance within your work life. Not to forget, most often you don’t bring work home because there’s just so much to do, it’s because when you are at work, you don’t do the things you’re supposed to do. Kanban helps you plan your days and achieve the goals you’ve set to accomplish between 9 to 5.
Who doesn’t want to minimize distractions? It’s a dream of every professional to find balance at work. You can always opt for a Kanban software, give it a try, and see the results yourself.
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