How to Multitask the Right Way

As a college student you may find it hard to juggle taking care of your children, working a job (or two), and managing your household. How do you fit in your schoolwork? The ugly truth is that people have a lot on their plate these days. Many students started college to make a better life for themselves and their families through education. You know why you decided to pursue a college degree, but how do you get to graduation while juggling a million things at once? One way is to become a better multitasker and learn how to multitask the right way!

Like many things, there is a time and place for multitasking. For instance, it is a bad idea to multitask by driving your car and texting; or running through the grocery list in your head while interviewing for your dream job.

tips-for-multi-taskingThink about this. Have you ever been submitting a paper for class, in addition to chatting with a friend or family member and catching up on the evening news? You type in some words about the assignment in the text box and confidently hit submit. Seconds later you realize, “Oops! I forgot to add the attachment!” If you can relate to this, you have been a victim of poor multitasking.

Multitasking actually requires you to shift your focus back and forth and is often not the act of focusing on two different things at the same time. According to Leaney in Age of the Plodder Begins, you can actually lose IQ points when multitasking. This is one good reason it can be more beneficial to allow yourself complete focus for intense or complex tasks.

The first step to multitasking is to determine the items on your to-do list which you want to multitask. To do this, compile a list of things that must be accomplished for the week (or day) and organize them in order of importance. Highlight the items which you think you would NOT want to multitask and would require your full attention and mental focus.

Skip the items you highlighted and pair together the other items on the list such as doing laundry and preparing dinner. For the things you can multitask, make spare minutes count! I highly suggest carrying note cards or class notes with you. That way, when you have downtime at lunch, or even time to spare while waiting for you kids to be done with school, you have the ability to study and make the most out of those precious minutes.

Multitasking with activities that take minimal critical thinking skills will allow you more time to focus on things which do require your full attention such as attending your child’s class play or studying for assignments and tests.

For these important responsibilities, think about making a schedule and not a to-do list. Work through the highlighted items one at a time and allow yourself the time and space to concentrate. Yes, to fully devote attention could mean turning off your cell phone and your television. Full concentration without disruption can actually save you time. Think about how quickly you get your assignments done when the television is off versus on.

A quick way to cut down on the amount of time you spend doing homework is to allow yourself focused attention to complete the tasks more quickly. This will also allow you to retain more information for future use (Haskins, 2010).

Get more done with less time, and then move on to the plethora of other tasks on your list which you could do with your eyes closed.

Haskins, C. (2010). Integrating Silence Practices Into the Classroom: The Value of Quiet. Encounter, 23(3), 15-26.
Leaney, N. (2009). Age of the Plodder Begins. Community Care, 1797, 8-8.

Take the Next Step—Talk to Us!

There are some errors in the form. Please correct the errors and submit again.

Request More Information

Talk with a program manager today.

Fill out the form to receive information about:
  • Program Details and Applying for Classes 
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA (for those who qualify)
  • Customized Support Services
  • Detailed Program Plan

Step 1 of 3

What's Your Name?

Please enter your first name.

Please enter your last name.

Step 2 of 3

Contact Information

Please enter your email address.

Please enter your phone number.

Please enter your five digit zip code.

Step 3 of 3

Program Preferences

Please choose a school of study.

Please choose a program.

Please choose a degree.

The program you have selected is not available in your area. Please select another program of interest.

By requesting information, I authorize Rasmussen College to contact me by email, phone or text message at the number provided. There is no obligation to enroll.

Cassandra Campfield

This article was written by Cassandra Campfield, Academic Advisor for Rasmussen College. In this role, she assists students seeking online degrees with academic services to help students succeed. Cassandra has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse and a Master’s degree in College Counseling & Student Development and Community Counseling from St. Cloud State.

default blog author

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit for a list of programs offered. External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college.

Add your comment


Please enter your name.


Please enter your email.


Please enter your comment.


icon-colored-advance icon-colored-build icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-developement icon-colored-growth icon-colored-national icon-colored-prep icon-colored-regional icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-paperwork icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-camera icon-filter icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-share-square-o icon-spinner icon-tag logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-testimonial-quotes icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x