By, 11/07/2012

Multitasking is often viewed as a productivity detractor, but it can be helpful if executed correctly. Working on different projects simultaneously can keep you actively engaged in all of your undertakings.

Thanks to technological advances, there can be many different priorities vying for your attention—emails, voicemails or meeting requests. One key to staying on track is not moving on to something the moment it comes up. For example, instead of responding to each new email as it comes in, make sure you handle any time sensitive matters as needed—setting aside those non-urgent emails until you’ve worked adequately on your current task.

Organizing is also key to multitasking. When mapping out your day, cluster similar projects together. Shifting mental gears too frequently and unnecessarily can mean less productivity. Additionally, set aside some uninterrupted work time. Give yourself time to get back up to speed on a project and re-focus your efforts, especially if it’s been awhile since you worked on it last.

Finally, set proper expectations with managers and co-workers about communication—let them know they can still count on you to complete tasks even though you may not respond to inquiries right away. You’re less stressed about responding quickly when you’ve already broached the topic. After all, timely doesn’t necessarily mean instantaneous.