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Multitasking may be killing your productivity at work

Veenu Aishwarya, co-founder and CEO of AUM LifeTech
Veenu Aishwarya, co-founder and CEO of AUM LifeTech
Veenu Aishwarya, co-founder and CEO of AUM LifeTech Courtesy of Veenu Aishwarya

Leadership Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: What’s your best advice for staying productive at work? is written by Veenu Aishwarya, co-founder and CEO of AUM LifeTech.

Running a successful (and productive) business requires an extensive set of rules and enormous effort. The rules are simple, the challenging part is the execution. Here are the most important things to keep in mind:

Manage your time efficiently
My father, who is one of my biggest champions, taught me the importance of time management. Because once you lose time you can’t get it back. Time management can vary from person to person and business to business, but the key is to know your priorities and get rid of the noise. Time is money and timing is everything in business.

Cut your losses
When deciding whether or not to move forward with a project/assignment, always consider all the parties involved. During the course of a project, if the expectations are not met for any reason, timely revisions should be made. The ability to troubleshoot, pull the plug or override an existing decision is critical to productivity. Otherwise, the project can become a burden and significantly harm the business.

Stay focused
Don’t take on too many tasks at once. In today’s hyper-competitive world, we often try to achieve more than we have time for. That said, there is a difference between multitasking and getting things jumbled up in a way that nothing gets done and the quality of work suffers. It’s okay to be ambitious, but always be realistic and aware of your limitations.

Communicate your goals
It’s critical to efficiently delegate work to team members. Make sure that everyone knows what his or her responsibilities are. No matter the size of your team, it helps to indicate soft and hard deadlines so that everyone is on the same page. You may develop a phenomenal product, but if it misses the deadline, it’s essentially useless.

Get enough sleep
This may be the most important aspect to productivity. Working 16 to 18 hours without enough sleep will lead to burnout. It’s okay to have a few long stretches, when needed, but always be mindful enough to give your body the proper rest it needs to refuel.

Read all answers to the Leadership Insider question: What’s your best advice for staying productive at work?

Why you should tackle your toughest tasks before 2 P.M. by Tom Gimbel, CEO of the LaSalle Network.

How can I increase my productivity at work? by David Reese, vice president of people and culture at Medallia.

How planning your day is actually making you less productive by William Craig, founder and president of WebpageFX.

The real reason you can’t focus at work by Sandhya Venkatachalam, co-founder and partner of Centerview Capital.

Want to be more productive? Start understanding your brain by Ryan Smith, CEO and founder of Qualtrics.

3 ways to stay productive while working remotely by Jeff Rodman, co-founder of Polycom.

This CEO says you should work less to be more productive by Jim Yu, CEO of BrightEdge.

The biggest career lesson this Navy SEAL learned in Iraq by Chris Fussell, chief growth officer at McChrystal Group.

Here’s how to keep your employees happy (and productive) by Michael Keoni DeFranco, founder and CEO of Lua.

9 things you can do every day to be more productive by Ryan Harwood, CEO of PureWow.

How managers are killing the productivity of their employees by Todd McKinnon, co-founder and CEO of Okta.

Warby Parker’s Co-CEO: Why it’s okay to say ‘no’ to your boss by Dave Gilboa, co-CEO of Warby Parker.