At least in the creative world and in the advertising business, multitasking is key, especially for small businesses. Multitasking breeds an inclusive culture and by extension, it builds a team. Multitasking demands sharing information, a crucial aspect in any business. The silo mentality — departments holding back, not wanting to share knowledge or information with other departments — kills success. It’s a problem in big companies, but it exists in small businesses too. Multitasking prevents that mentality taking hold. It also stamps out the ‘blame’ culture. When a team multitasks, it works together, everyone shares knowledge, info and responsibility . The business, the team and your clients can only benefit from this kind of culture. As team leader, you have to take the lead in encouraging multitasking. But first …
Are YOU a multitasking maestro?
I think of marketing, particularly those of us in marketing handling brands, as orchestrators or maestros. For those who run agencies, like me, the same moniker applies. In marketing, brand people are bombarded with priorities and deadlines. (You can thank technology for that!). To NOT be a multitasker, to not be able to juggle all the balls, is dangerous.
I’ll define multitasking as I mean it. I’m not talking about wearing too many hats and spread thin to the point of burnout. I’m talking about being able to move fast and easily from one thing to another, throughout the day. Nothing piles up, okay, almost nothing, nobody’s perfect.
As the main lead in a business, multitasking is a skill you have to have. If not, you’ll drop a few balls, miss a few deadlines. Issues around projects arise regularly, you need to deal with them as they arise, rather than waiting until they get overblown. You need to think big, but still get the small things nailed down. Sure, you have your own particular projects on a given day, but you need to be right there for your people too. They need you. So do your clients. You’re there for everybody. Remember! You’re the maestro.
Client expectations about what agencies need to deliver has evolved. Clients demand their agency people walk the line and maintain the pace. They demand multitasking. Technology demands it too. If you aren’t a multitasker, you’re hurting your team: Forcing them to work longer hours, i.e. numerous redos, and work under undue pressure. Sometimes pressure is good for creativity, undue pressure is not. Demands come from clients fast and furious and if you plod, you frustrate the team, your clients and eventually you lose business. The success of an agency depends on being nimble, being a partner, working the way the client works.
To be in marketing and NOT a multitasker is dangerous. For someone like me, who thrives on the business and excitement of the industry, I admit, it’s also more fun.
There’s lots to say about multitasking, so I’ll follow this blog with another that deals with encouraging everyone on the team to be a multitasker. How it builds a team. Why clients benefit? And, why Social Media is a perfect tool for encouraging multi-tasking?
“Mastering the Fine Art of Multi-Tasking” is a great short read from Psychology Today. If you can stop multitasking for a minute, you might enjoy it: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201110/mastering-the-fine-art-multi-tasking.
Recent scientific thought about multitasking? This one was interesting: “Forget Multitasking, Real Productivity Comes from Singletasking”: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247833