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Practical Skills for Managing Multiple Tasks & Competing Priorities

Click here for an abbreviated description of this program.

Multitasking has become the mantra of the new millennium . . . a term often accompanied by the cry, “We’ve got to do more with less.” If so, one thing is for sure . . . yesterday’s tactics won’t get the job done. This timely workshop addresses this reality head-on. During the workshop you will learn practical skills for managing multiple tasks and conflicting priorities. You will also learn tactics for coordinating multiple projects and juggling competing demands on your time and attention from multiple bosses. Specific challenges pertaining to the participants’ work environment will be discussed and a solution-convergence process will be used to identify practical suggestions for handling each situation.

Detailed Outline

Introduction to Multitasking

  • What Is Multitasking

  • Multitasking Management Strategies

  • Common Barriers to Multitasking

  • The 4 Domains Where Multitasking Can Occur

Costs and Benefits of Multitasking

  • The Benefits of Multitasking

  • Task Switching Costs and Consequences

  • Quantifying the Cost of Multitasking

  • Concurrent Versus Staged Projects

Multitasking and the Brain

  • Neuroscience Research Pertaining to Multitasking

  • The Practical Significance of this Research

  • The Bandwidth of Consciousness

  • The Key to Changing Your Behavior

Task Orientation Styles™

  • Identifying Your Task Orientation Style™ Profile

  • The Psychology of Time and Task Management

  • Adapting Your Task Orientation Style™

Setting and Managing Multiple Priorities

  • Making Your Priorities Visible

  • Setting Priorities Using a Value/Risk Pareto  Analysis

  • Applying the Triage Principle to Multitask Management

  • Using Clarity and Power

  • Adopting Standards

  • Tactics for Managing Priorities

Attention Management

  • What Does It Mean to “Manage Attention”

  • Attention Management Versus Time Management

  • Balancing Interaction and Concentration

Interpersonal Negotiating Skills

  • Setting Up and Using an Interruption Log

  • Creative Interruption Solutions

  • Negotiating With Interrupters & Time Wasters

  • Saying “No” When “No” Isn’t an Option

  • Using the Duncker Diagram to Explore Alternatives

Using Metrics and Factual Data

  • Practicing the Art of Being Specific

  • The Importance of Measurability

  • Putting the Power Curve to Work

  • Factors to Consider in Selecting Multitasking Metrics

Gaining Cooperation in a Multitasking Environment

  • Reducing Hostility

  • Building Confidence

  • Reducing the Other Party’s Frustration

  • Calming Language

  • Managing Irate Internal/External Customers

Multitasking Toolkit

  • Using the Daily Project Planning Form to Manage Multiple Tasks

  • Assessing Your Multitasking Workload

  • Using the Task Collaboration Chart to Coordinate Interdependent Tasks

  • Using a Deployment Flow Chart for Task Sequencing

  • Using the Responsibility Matrix to Clarify Task Responsibilities

  • Using the CRIA Form to Assess the Impact of Change Requests

Managing Stress and Conflict in a Multitasking Environment

  • Evaluating the Situation

  • Structure of Difficult Encounters

  • Using the 5 Step Process to Manage Conflict

  • The 3-Story Concept

  • Paying Attention to Hidden Feelings

  • Reframing the Problem to Sustain Dialogue

Action Plan for Immediate Application

  • Putting the Tools and Principles Into Practice

  • Identifying Opportunities for Immediate Application

Who Should Participate?
This workshop is geared for anyone who has to juggle multiple tasks and conflicting priorities under resource-constrained conditions. This may include individual contributors, project managers, program managers, and administrative support personnel.

Duration: 1-day.

* Alternately titled Dealing With Task Overload™

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