Written by Pauline Manolo.
Pauline is one of Akubo’s customer care engineers, a bookworm, and an avid writer in her spare time.
Being a customer care engineer, I have to work with clients and assist them if they have technical questions. I handle clients in the US and in the Visayas region in the Philippines, and sometimes give client presentations. At the same time, I also have another task: a web application project.
With these tasks that I have to work on everyday, I have to multitask so that I can accomplish all of it on schedule. But lately, with the looming deadline of the project I’m working on, I have to prioritize it. Unfortunately, by doing so, I gave all my hours to the project and completely forgot to check the clients.
So I was struggling to catch up with technical support to clients AND risking the programming project. If I’m in the middle of tech support and an email comes in regarding the system, I would get distracted. I would go and check the code, then eventually forget to compose a tech support email. It’s the same thing when I’m programming and a client calls, asking for help.
While I was juggling two tasks, it became too hard for me to concentrate. Half of my brain was left pondering on a support question and half of it was trying to figure out how to put that function into code. I admit that it isn’t ideal; however, at that time it was the only way I could work on both tasks.
I got distracted.
Because of how the project turned out, I was pulled out of it. I had to put all my attention back to Akubo support. It wasn’t a good time for me because I felt that I failed. But I have to move on and learn from it.
For me, the cost of multitasking is that I lost my train of thought, especially when I get overwhelmed with work. When multitasking, you have to be good at time management, and in my case, both tasks were a high priority and needed full attention, which is why it was hard for me.
However, while it was bad for me, I did learn something out of it. I had to be strict in following the time I set for each task. If I set time in the morning for tech support and in the afternoon for programming tasks, I should follow that schedule and not let myself be distracted. This is helpful in a way that my brain can focus one task at a time, instead of dealing with multiple assignments at the same time.