forgetfulness_inside.jpgThe term “multitasking” has quickly become part of our vocabulary, thanks in part to the increasing demands of the workforce and our fast-paced lifestyles. We have a dozen things to accomplish at work, and then there are the errands we need to do after a day at the office is over. We always complain about not having enough hours in a day to accomplish our tasks, and we often find ourselves remembering to do something only after the window of opportunity has passed. As a result, we end up multitasking—doing several things at the same time—in order to juggle all our responsibilities.

But is multitasking really a good way to manage your time? According an article on USAToday.com, is worsened by the fact that multitasking reduces our ability to focus. Have you ever forgotten where you left your keys because you were preoccupied with an important meeting or presentation? Or perhaps you’ve found yourself checking your e-mail while talking to someone over the phone, then forgetting what the topic of your conversation was. We’ve all had trail-away moments like these, and many times it’s because we weren’t focusing on the task at hand.

Still, you can’t eliminate multitasking from your life completely. Knowing this, FN has compiled five quick and easy tips to help with remembering the important stuff:

1. MAKE FULL USE OF THE CALENDAR AND ALARM FUNCTIONS ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE OR COMPUTER.

Mobile phones nowadays have multiple alarms, notes, and calendar functions to help you manage your tasks, and there are a bevy of PC applications that will help you manage your tasks and give you regular reminders on things you need to do. Use these tools to set alarms during the day which will remind you of what you should be doing at that moment. This not only lets you know that you need to start on that report or start getting ready for your lunch meeting, but it also helps you budget your time accordingly.


2. USE THE CORKBOARD.

Remember something while chilling out in your room? Grab your pen and a piece of paper and either jot it down or tack a note to your corkboard! If you don’t have a corkboard, why not take this opportunity to make it a personal DIY project? Most bookstores have corkboards, and you can browse the scrapbooking sections for decorative ideas. You can save money and trees by using scratch paper as your note-taking paper: just cut them down to the right size! Post-its, magnets, and whiteboards are other alternatives.


3. STRIKE THROUGH OR X MARKS THE SPOT!

There is just something so satisfying about crossing something off a list. It’s a visual representation of accomplishment moving you from “to do” to “done” with a big, red X. It also helps you keep track of the things you need to do and prioritize. Put the things you need to spend more time on at the top of your list, and alternate that with smaller, easier tasks. It’ll help keep you from getting too stressed out and allow you to decompress in between tough deliverables.


4. KEEP ALL YOUR NOTES IN ONE PLACE.
 
Be it on your cubicle’s corkboard, the edge of your computer’s monitor, or your phone, make sure to keep your notes in one general place so you’ll know where to find them. And remember to synchronize! Your planner's entries must be updated with what you have done so you won't waste your time doing something you’ve already done. Keeping things in sync and updated can save you a lot of time and when a task in a note has been done, be sure to trash it (though remember to write on both sides to save paper) so you won’t be confused!


5. USE MNEMONIC DEVICES.

Acronyms, rhymes, substituting the thing you want to remember with a word that sounds like it, using your word as part of song lyrics, or just plain using what you see to relate to what you’re doing can be mnemonic devices. What makes mnemonic devices so effective is that we tend to focus on our “memory trick” to encode the data into our brains. This is why you still remember what ROY G. BIV stands for, or you find yourself humming the 12 Apostles song you were taught in elementary.


Even just saying what you are doing is already a big help. So the next time you come home from a long day at work, tell yourself out loud that you are putting your keys on the dresser instead of just tossing them there. You’ll save yourself the time and hassle of hunting them up tomorrow since you’ll already have told yourself where you could find them today!


Read these other articles for tips on managing stress at work:
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(Photo from
The Devil Wears Prada courtesy of 20th Century Fox)


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