Business Today

Multitasking Mania

It's clever, sometimes, but ultimately stressful.
Team BT   NA     Print Edition: April 8, 2018

Gadgets, machines and their software have pushed us into the habit of doing things simultaneously, rather than tackle one thing at a time. It's become so much of a norm that employees are penalised for not being able to handle several things and appraisals inevitably list 'ability to multitask effectively' as a skill that is valuable and gets you climbing that career ladder faster.

Little phone screens can now be split into two to allow us to do two things in separate windows. Samsung's Note 8 smartphone actually lets you pair apps and launch them together so that you don't miss out on a moment of multitasking. So manic is this phenomenon that people find themselves feeling worrying that the day will spin out of control if many activities are not run together. And this builds stress and fatigue. A multitasking culture also robs us of any possibility of being 'in the moment' which helps focus and relax.

That multitasking is stressful and harmful has been detailed in many studies over the decades. Yet, workplaces choose to remain oblivious. However, anyone wanting to cut their own stress levels should work on a strategy to get out of the manic multitasking habit. All you need to do is disentangle tasks from one another and use a timer to properly finish one, before moving on to the other. The timer part is easier than ever because all you have to do is ask your nearest virtual assistant to set a timer for a certain number of minutes or hours. As you try to complete your task within the self-allotted time, you will experience interruptions. You could keep your phone mute button handy and turn off the sound if need be. You'll be able to see if there's an important call; you can take that and reset your timer. Ask anyone who walks in to give you a certain amount of time and then come in. There's no way to do it other than to do it.

Once you find you can actually accomplish things much better, the feeling of achievement and satisfaction will spur you on to the next task. Using a timer and putting a definite beginning and end to each task will also let you build breaks, which will ultimately be beneficial.


Apps to up your wine IQ

For fine diners and world travellers, it's rather important to be in the know about wine. One of the easiest ways to up your wine IQ is to use one of the many excellent apps. Try Vivino, available on both Android and iOS, register through one of the multiple options presented, and pick up a bottle of wine.

First off, you can browse wines by categories - red, white, sparkling, etc. Tap on a category and you can look through reviews and ratings of wines with their descriptions. You can also buy them from the app. Then, if you're out for dinner, you can use the app to see food pairings; so you know what type of wine goes with your choice of meat.

The app offers a lot of other information such as the best years, the ingredients used and vintages available. An action button will let you save the wines you want and add your own comments or reviews.

But, perhaps, the most useful of all is the wine scanner that lets you take a photograph of a bottle of wine and find out all about it.


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