In the era of multi-tasking, maximise your business analyst productivity by prioritising tasks, removing distractions and making time to get things done.
Have you ever split your focus by documenting requirements while listening to a podcast? Or diluted your impact by having to facilitate a workshop while scribing notes? What about tuning out when skimming through emails while on a conference call?
Some view multi-tasking as a superpower to get more things done in less time, full of notions linked to productivity.
Multi-tasking does not always live up to the dream.
Multi-tasking, as great as it can be, can bring about thrash when we switch between too many things and ultimately impede our efficiency and quality. Millennials are notorious for multi-tasking — born in the digital age, constantly plugged-in, expert information filterers — and presumed natural jugglers of tasks.
Looking at themselves as an investment, millennials nurture their business analyst career by dabbling in multiple opportunities to maximise the returns of their efforts. Some of us have many jobs, having the corporate job-by-day that pays for the bills and another gig that spurs our passion project. These lives that we switch between often amplify our desire to try to get it all done now.
As a generation full of go-getters,
… millennials struggle with the idea of focussing our energy on one specific venture.
Yet as business analysts we’re expected to multi-task effectively, with the role calling for the ability to be organised, smarts to keep track and the savvy to execute multiple activities in the same time window.
Let’s ensure that we deliver on our promise by making multi-tasking our friend.
#1 Prioritise your critical tasks
Does juggling between your many projects, activities and deliverables cause you challenges?
Provide a sense of order and control in your day by listing your tasks from high to low priority. Sort and tackle your most important tasks first, working your way through towards accomplishment.
Minimise the difficulties of having too many items on the go by ensuring you finish one task before moving on to the next.
Starting and completing your most significant tasks will free you up to handle those impromptu team meetings, and don’t be afraid to reprioritise tasks which you cannot accommodate into your schedule.
#2 Remove your biggest distractions
Is the hypnotising blue light on your smartphone distracting you from your focus?
Don’t fall into the trap believing that being constantly connected and having the ability to switch between tasks equates to efficiency, it is thinning out your concentration and making you susceptible to silly mistakes.
Enhance your attention span by identifying and removing the biggest distractions to your ability to concentrate.
Tackling the many distractions you face will help you become more fully engaged, and equally crucial is knowing when it’s time to take a short break and allow yourself that well-earned distraction.
#3 Make your uninterrupted time
Are the relentless adhoc meetings and last-minute email requests diverting your day?
Increase focus by scheduling periods of uninterrupted time. Periods of immense concentration, free of distractions, will lead to a faster completion times and help you produce better quality results.
Plan your milestones making sure to schedule in do-not-disturb time to find the mind-space needed to produce.
Carving out appropriate space ensures your constant progress and reduces the risk of not meeting expectations, and protect your time by communicating impact when someone else’s priority is inescapable.
Wanting to impress your stakeholders with your ability to manage multiple tasks and deliver flawless results is commendable. But keep in mind
… as business analysts we are expected to manage the required time/quality balance successfully.
Know your limits and be careful to not stretch yourself too thin and run the risk of burnout. When you feel that you’re juggling too many things, remember to slow down and find the mind-space to tackle one task at a time. Then, prioritise your critical tasks, remove your biggest distractions and pencil in your uninterrupted time — and you’ll be that much closer to maximising your productivity and succeeding as an effective business analyst.
What do you do to maximise your business analyst productivity? Do let me know in the comments.