Multitasking has its pros and cons, but when it’s out of control it is a frustrating part of the workday for most of us. Thankfully, there is a way to climb a mountain of to-dos and accomplish something, too. It’s called multitasking for efficiency.
Take a bird’s-eye view of the day’s tasks, prioritize projects, set time limits and use organizational tools to stay on track. Taylor Feuerborn, inside sales and marketing for Loma Vista Nursery, says that requires making a conscious effort and a daily commitment to organization.
Taylor Feuerborn, Loma Vista Nursery inside sales and marketing
Her job has varied responsibilities, including assisting Loma Vista Nursery’s sales team with order entry, service follow up with customers, answering phone calls, producing e-blasts, updating the online catalog and taking plant pictures and videos for blogs and social media. With all that and more in her wheelhouse, Taylor has time-tested experience in multitasking for efficiency.
Taylor discusses upcoming tasks with Michael Sellars, nursery generalist.
Q. Describe your typical workday.
A. It really depends on the season. In the spring I am working on documenting and updating the status of the crops on our Flickr I answer phone calls from prospective and current customers and help the sales team enter orders. We are also shipping trees out of the tree farm, so I’m updating those orders, too, and working with shipping to get balled and burlapped products out in a timely manner. During fall and winter, I am updating our online catalog and working on other projects that we can’t get to during the busy season. The sales reps go out to trade shows during this time, so I work with them to make sure they have everything they need.
One of her multi-tasks, Taylor enjoys photographing plants at the nursery for various marketing purposes. Photo here and at the top of the blog by Taylor Feuerborn.
Q. What do you like best about your job?
A. My favorite part is capturing the health and beauty of the plants we grow and developing fresh content. It keeps my creative juices flowing. I also really enjoy talking with our customers. It’s always good to hear their feedback.
Q. What role does multitasking for efficiency play in your workday?
It is a large part of my day, actually. A continuously evolving task list keeps me on track and my day moving. I timebox my day in 30-minute intervals to help me focus on multiple projects, so I can get either a little or a lot done each day. I start the morning by updating my task list. Then, I finish projects that I wasn’t able to get to during the previous day. Next, I do the easiest or quickest project first, allowing myself more space in the day to focus on tasks that are more complicated or require more time. Another tool I use is a notebook. I keep it open next to my desk phone and take notes during calls. When I get phone calls in the middle of a project, I jot down my place so that when I get back to the task I don’t need to start from scratch.
Taylor uses time blocking to help focus her day and stay on task.
Q. Is it possible to “efficiently multitask?”
A. Yes, provided you are organized and have set your priorities. In my experience, writing information down and keeping track of where you are in the project makes it “real” on paper and takes it out of your head. This is very helpful for project managing the workday, and for cutting down on anxiety once you get home. You have it written down and trust the process, so you know it’s going to get done.
Q. What are the primary challenges when multitasking for efficiency?
A. Lack of organization, project management and time mismanagement are disruptors. Random multitasking challenges efficiency because you are taking time from one project or task to focus on another. If you aren’t careful and have no set parameters, it can throw off the project or task you were working on before the disruption. Touching a project multiple times is a time drain. When you have to go back and fix things from previous sessions, that’s time you didn’t allot for the project. It can also cause errors, because you were distracted.
Taylor recommends keeping a notebook by your office phone to record important names, numbers and follow-up tasks. Then, flag them for follow-up.
Q. Summing up, what are three tips for multitasking efficiently?
A. First, commit to writing down your tasks each day in priority order. This will help you plan the order of your workday, cut down on distractions and procrastination and help keep you on task. Second, use time blocking to keep track of how long you spend on a task. This provides a realistic snapshot of how much time is actually needed on a project and can help you adjust your time management moving forward. Third, keep a notebook to take down names, phone numbers and important notes during your conversations. Flag necessary details as reminders to follow up after the call.
Learn More About Landscape Plants from Loma Vista Nursery
Loma Vista Nursery’s staff members are experts in the field. We love helping people learn and understand more about healthy plants that perform well in Midwest landscapes. For more information about trees, shrubs and plants that are ideal for fall landscapes, visit our plant catalog. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (785) 229-7200 to get answers to your plant-related questions.
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