Multitasking: We have all heard about it but is it useful enough for the students? We all have been in the situation where we have a lot of work to complete but we can only do one at a time. This process actually takes up a lot of time and you are left not being able to complete that particular task. Well one of the solution to this problem is multitasking. Now we know you are wondering if multitasking is actually a good thing or not.
Most of the times people ask you to avoid multitasking as you are unable to concentrate on one particular task and your efficiency decreases. Well that cannot be completely denied; therefore, it is necessary that you wisely choose the tasks that you want to multitask with. Studying two subjects at the same time is a bad example of multitasking, but reading the newspaper while you have your breakfast or lunch is a good way of multitasking which helps you complete the newspaper while you are actually finishing your daily chores.
Multitasking is performing two or more task simultaneously. What needs to be kept in mind is that while multitasking, we should not compromise on the quality of any of the task as that will dilute the whole sense behind multitasking. While preparing for any competitive examination like GATE or ESE, covering a vast syllabus with utmost precision and accuracy is a heavy task to perform.
To keep yourself motivated and keep going it is necessary that we take proper rest and breaks in between the preparation. Sometimes these breaks actually make us guilty that we are wasting time and hence we end up not being able to take out time for ourselves. In such situations multitasking skill is a great way of taking a break yet not leaving your studies completely.
Before we begin with different multitasking techniques that the students can use and why multitasking is important we must discuss certain points that students must keep in time while multitasking.
Tips on Multitasking:
1. Do not multitask huge activities:
Multitasking though Is a great way of doing more work in lesser time always remember that multitasking two heavy tasks, like two subjects at the same time can actually be a disaster. You may not be able to concentrate on any and end up losing all the time you had. Therefore, pick up two task one of which is lighter than the other like walking and listening, eating and reading.
2. Always make sure what you want to do:
Before you begin your task, be clear of your target, what is the work at hand and how do you plan on approaching it. Not having a good plan in action can actually hamper both your tasks. If you plan on revising your notes when you have your lunch, make sure you have decided in advance which subject you want to revise and what are the topics you want to complete. So that you do not end up wasting more time in finding the topic to be read.
3. Inline both the task with each other:
If you have planned of listening to a video while you go for a walk, make sure that the video is not too long and is in line with the time you have planned to take a walk for. If the video is too long you may not complete it that day and save it for another day which will never come. So inline both the task you plan on doing with each other, because doing either of the work half will bring you no gain.
4. Keep the tasks handy:
Whenever multitasking, make sure that you are not doing activities which require large number of books, pencils, calculator. For multitasking skills, things should be handy so that you do not waste time in organizing things and then actually starting the tasks. Example if you are going to a café for a break and you want to revise some formulae or a topic, do not carry your books along. Make sure that whatever you have to revise are in the form of notes, either on your phone or some lose sheets. This will actually encourage you to do the work. Carrying heavy books will be a task in itself and you will end up not doing anything at all.
5. Work on related task together:
Picking up two subject books together is not multitasking but wastage of time. Whereas practicing the questions of a particular topic along with revising your notes is an effective way to study. Therefore it is necessary that while multitasking you pick up related task together and not just randomly start any task at hand. Working on related task simultaneously will make your work more efficient as you will be able to be more productive.
While the above points must be kept in mind while multitasking, it is also important that one practices it for a long time to become perfect at it. When not practiced properly or if the tips are not taken care of, some of the students instead of deriving benefits from it end up wasting their time and reducing their productivity by not being able to concentrate on a single task. Therefore make sure you multitask your work efficiently and derive maximum benefits from it.
Having talked about what to keep in mind while multitasking let us now see why multitasking skills are needed and what are the advantages of multitasking:
Advantages of Multitasking
1. Saves time:
When you have to complete two simultaneous tasks, instead of dedicating individual time to both, multitasking skills are a better option. This saves you a lot of time and you can actually utilize the time saved in either improving your task or completing other task which is due. Thus multitasking helps you save time and make you become more efficient with time. During your exam preparation you plan of dedicating one hour to listen to an NPTEL video of your branch every day to understand the subject better , if you listen to this video while having lunch or taking a walk, you save yourself one hour daily in which you can complete another topic that was due at your end.
2. Increases productivity:
Multitasking skills increase your efficiency as simultaneously working will help train you brain to work more effectively and any work that you do during studies or later at work, your productivity will increase. Revising your notes during lunch or reading the newspaper during breakfast trains your brain to work in a particular fashion. Once you have practiced this technique for a long time. Every time you sit for lunch or breakfast your mind will work in a similar fashion and you will start looking for something to read. This always helps you in increasing your productivity by simultaneously working your brain in two places.
3. Reduces procrastination:
Procrastination is delaying the work at hand. Well when multitasking you save yourself time and increase your productivity which actually encourages and motivates you to complete the work at hand as and when possible reducing procrastination. As the exams draw closer the students tend to be so busy revising their notes that they keep delaying solving the previous year paper or test series.
In such a situation one can actually pick up a subject and their questions simultaneously. Keep solving the questions and as and when the topic comes up revise the topic as well. This way you will understand what type of questions can be asked and also you will not delay the question solving session.
While multitasking skills have their share of advantages, many students will be confused on how they can use multitasking during their preparation. Well, we have provided you the effective ways in which multitasking skills can be used by students:
During the GATE exam or ESE exam preparation the students have to juggle between a lot of work and studies and if you are a working professional then it becomes really difficult to tackle both work and study pressure. In these cases, multitasking is the new age 21st century skill which helps you manages it all and score well in the exams.
A. Break and intervals:
During the examination time the movement of the body is restricted to bare minimum and students also avoid breaks in between studies as they are so engrossed in their books. It is always recommended that one must take proper breaks to be more efficient in learning, but how you use these breaks is also important.
B. Walk in the park:
Whenever you get time to you must go for a walk or go for a run early morning or evening . This will not only freshen up your mind but also provide you a much needed break. If you feel like you will be wasting your studying time during walking then you are mistaken. Nowadays there are various videos which are available on the internet which help you understand a particular topic in detail.
Also you have toppers talk videos and TED videos which will inspire you to work harder and work dedicatedly towards your goal. So while walking instead of playing any random song you can actually listen to these videos and do multitasking utilizing your time for your studies.
C. Café or Restaurant:
One can also go to a café or a good restaurant once a blue moon to freshen up their mood and come out of the monotonous environment of their rooms or libraries. The cafes are a good place to sip in a coffee or tea and read something. So you can carry your notes or any inspirational novel to these café and restaurant whenever you need a break. You can also go with a fellow friend with whom you can discuss your studies and also have a much needed break.
D. Study Break:
It is not necessary that multitasking skills would only be restricted to doing two things simultaneously. You can multitask in a different way as well. If some day you are bored or tired or reading the technical part of the syllabus you can always switch between the technical and non technical part.
This will help your mind work faster and you will experience less fatigue. During the preparation of aptitude part one can also listen to songs and solve questions, condition being that the song only add a good ambience to your room and not disturb you from your studies.
E. Working Professionals:
For all the students who are working professionals, they find it really hard to take out time during their busy schedule. Well for them multitasking skills is an option that comes in very handy. They can actually utilize the time spent in travelling, breaks to study. Every day before you leave for work set a target for yourself of what you will complete that day during the office hours and utilizes any free time efficiently.
While travelling one can always have some notes: whether hardcopy or soft copy. Also one can read the newspaper during the time they are travelling. Whenever you are reading something make sure that instead of underlining in the book you also make separate notes of the important facts. This will not only help you in revising but also be very handy to read while traveling.
G. Office Hours:
In the office there are many times when you do not have much work to do but still you can leave the office during the working hours. In such cases instead of gossiping around one can actually take the help of the internet and complete any topic that is in your agenda for the day and you need to complete it immediately.
Having a pre-planned target for work will help you in being more efficient in what you study as you will not go haywire and focus on the concerned topics. Initially one may find this difficult but once you get accustomed to it, multitasking will make your life easier.
Many students while preparing for the GATE or ESE examination skip their lunch in order to continue their studies. Well that is a bad strategy to follow as it can actually take a toll on your health. Instead you can use multitasking during eating. Whenever you sit for breakfast you can start your day with the newspaper and enjoy both your meal and the news.
During the lunch and dinner break one can always pick up a topic that you have already read and revise the same. Revision of the topic every now and then will help you memorize the subject well and you will also not feel like you are wasting your time.
Thus, these are the ways the multitasking technique can be used to improve your efficiency and take you away from the monotonous studying schedule one has while preparing for any examination.
Understand the right techniques and using the tips mentioned for multitasking is the key to using it appropriately. In this digital age multitasking is the 21st century skill which helps you keep up with the fast moving times. Though multitasking can have its fare share of problems but if practiced with care it can offer you far reaching results.
We hope this article will help you in escalating your preparation and make you more organized and systematic. We would love to hear your views on multitasking. Also feel free to write to us. All the very best