Secret Sneaky Ways You Can Actually Multi-Task

by - July 17, 2021

 We have all heard that multi-tasking will not help you to be more productive. In fact, it will help you to be less productive, and in the traditional sense of the term "multi-tasking" that would be correct. But what if I told you that I found some secret sneaky ways that you can actually multi-task? Sounds pretty good, right? Well, I'll share these ways you can multi-task right now!

Secret Sneaky Ways You Can Actually Multi-Task

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Updated for 2024

A little while ago, I was listening to a podcast while on a run. One of the great benefits of running is that you have a ton of time to think so I was thinking about the topic of multi-tasking.

I had the thought, "I'm multi-tasking right now because I'm listening to a podcast while running! Technically though, multi-tasking isn't supposed to exist" and that got me thinking... since I had found one way to actually multi-task, what if there were more ways to multi-task?

Well, guess what?

There are more ways to multi-task, but they aren't in the traditional sense of what people think of when multi-tasking is mentioned.

The Common Way of Multi-Tasking

Going back to the beginning of this article, I'm sure we have all been warned against the dangers of multi-tasking.

"It will take longer for you to do the work"

"Your brain will just have to switch back and forth between the tasks"

"You'll become distracted easier"

"It will be harder to focus"

I'm not saying that any of these views are wrong because they probably aren't. The main thing is that what people are generally referring to isn't actual multi-tasking. It's starting one task and then switching to another one before you finish the first task, and then going back to the first task when you are tired or bored of the second task, etc. You could do this all day.

This isn't multi-tasking. You aren't doing two tasks simultaneously. You are mindlessly switching back and forth between two tasks!

I definitely would warn you against doing this because it will make you less productive. But I thought of some real ways to multi-task. The trick to real multi-tasking is to do something that doesn't take brain power while doing something that does take brain power.

For example, eating breakfast doesn't take brain power. You don't have to think about eating breakfast. Hopefully, I have convinced you that there is such a thing as multi-tasking so let's get into the ways you can actually multi-task!

Secret Sneaky Ways You Can Actually Multi-Task

Secret Sneaky Ways You Can Actually Multi-Task

For each of the times below, I have listed multiple ways you can effectively multi-task. Some ideas of things you can do to multi-task are listed multiple times because they can be done while doing almost anything.

Brushing Your Hair

First up, everyone brushes or combs their hair. (Unless they don't have hair, and in that case, this won't apply to you. Lucky you! You'll have an extra five minutes in your day!)

For everyone else, who does brush or comb their hair, this is a valuable five minutes that you can use for something else because brushing your hair is pretty automatic and you don't have to think about it unless you are styling your hair in a certain way, and even then you might be able to effectively multi-task.

So what can you do during this time?

You can recite affirmations. It's the beginning of the day, so it's good to start out on a positive note! You can print out a list of affirmations like "today's going to be a great day" or "no matter how many times I fall, I will succeed in the end" and print them out on a sheet of paper. Tape it to your mirror and recite a few every morning to help boost your confidence!

If affirmations aren't your thing, you could also use this time to memorize something. There is tons of useful information out there that you might want to memorize, but as a school student, this can be especially helpful because you have to memorize things all of the time!

You could also listen to a podcast or an audiobook during your entire morning routine, but I'll get more into those two later.

Brushing Your Teeth

Again, everyone does this... hopefully! That's around an extra four minutes in your day if you brush in the morning and at night.

You can't exactly recite affirmations while you are brushing your teeth, but there are other things you can do. Now is a great time to do a yoga pose or a stretch. Obviously, some yoga poses and stretches will be off-limits! Please don't send me your horror stories, if you decide to break this rule!

You can even just practice balancing on one leg. Just standing on one leg for two minutes every day can help you improve your balance. You could also practice memorizing something or listen to a podcast or audiobook as earlier mentioned.

Another way to multi-task is to think about the number one task you need to complete for the day, so you don't have to spend time deciding what you are going to do later.

Secret Sneaky Ways You Can Actually Multi-Task

During Meals

Three to four meals a day is three to four extra hours of valuable time. Of course, during dinner or another meal, you may want to socialize with the people you are eating with and that is great because it is always important to spend time with those you love!

If you don't want to socialize, then you have extra time on your hands that can be used for something else. For example, when I wake up in the morning, I make my breakfast, and then I sit down at the table and turn on my laptop.

Now, I could get stuck in a social media loop, and sometimes I do. Usually though, I will check my emails, and delete any emails that I no longer need. After that, I will practice French on Duolingo. Just think! You could use your mealtimes to practice a new language too!

Then, if I still haven't finished my breakfast, I will move on to doing any task that I need to do or read the news. It's always important to stay informed! This morning, I started outlining this post, while I ate breakfast, and it got that out of the way before I had officially even started my day.

You might think that you don't have enough time to use a planner, but what if you plan your day while eating breakfast? Now you might think that this will take longer because you will have to switch between your spoon/fork and a pen, but you have to do something while you chew, so why not write down one of your to-do's.

But there are many other ways you can multi-task during meals. During the school year, I will often do homework during lunch. Keep in mind that it is important to allow yourself breaks and that some of these ideas might not work for you. You might need your mealtimes to just rest and relax.

Currently, I have been reading a book during my lunch time. I have a goal of reading twelve personal development books this year, so I am working towards this goal daily by reading two chapters during lunch time. The book I am reading right now is Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin, and I would absolutely recommend it if you are looking for personal development books to read.

Some other books I would recommend can be found below.

You can also take an online course and complete a segment of the course every day during lunch or watch educational videos, as long as you don't get sucked into watching one after the other.

Mealtimes are times you can use to increase your education, which is always a good thing to do! :)

Secret Sneaky Ways You Can Actually Multi-Task

While You Exercise

This is one of my favorite times to multi-task and I was exercising when I thought of how to effectively multi-task in the first place. Besides thinking about what I am going to do for the day, and just thinking about random things while I run, which I find to be very calming and a good form of self-care, I started listening to podcasts.

Depending on what you prefer, you can listen to a podcast or an audiobook. Currently, since I go running and walking for a total of two hours every day, I listen to podcasts until I get bored, or I need to get some energy. Then I will listen to music for the rest of the time.

Podcasts can be such a valuable source of information and they can be extremely motivating as well! If you don't listen to podcasts, give it a try! I'll be posting a blog post with my favorite inspirational podcasts to listen to pretty soon.

Plus, there are podcasts available about pretty much anything, so you'll be sure to find something you will enjoy listening to! :)

Pick Something up When You Go to the Next Room

When you stand up to walk into the next room, take a moment to look around the one you are in and pick something up that doesn't belong before you start moving to the next room.

If it will take less than a minute to put away, you should just put it away right then, and then you save yourself time because you won't have to do it later.

It might not be much, but it will help you to have a more organized house, which is always a win for me!

Secret Sneaky Ways You Can Actually Multi-Task

Secret Sneaky Ways You Can Actually Multi-Task

If you made it all the way to the end of this article, thank you so much for sticking around with me until the end. Now that you know these secret sneaky ways you can multi-task, you just need to create a plan to actually put what you just learned into action because let's face it, you can read all the productivity articles you want, but until you actually take action, it's just a waste of time.

Pick out right now, one way you are going to try out effective multi-tasking, and then make sure you follow through and actually do it. Good luck!

If you liked this post, here are some other ones you might also enjoy!

I hope you have a productive week!
Save this post for later, so you can come back and read it again. Thank you! :)

Secret Sneaky Ways You Can Actually Multi-Task

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