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The Cost of Switching Tasks

Posted by Laura Blazej

Wed, Sep 19, 2018

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Heading into the busiest time of year, I’ve been thinking about how to be more efficient at work. Often, we want to do everything at once—ensuring each task gets marked off our to do list so we can feel accomplished at the end of the day.

While multitasking seems efficient, it's actually quite difficult to switch between two different tasks.

The difficulty of "task switching" was popularized in a 1995 study by Robert Rogers and Stephen Monsell in which participants were asked to carry out two trials of task A, followed by two trials of task B, then back to task A. 

They found the response times of switching between unrelated tasks was slower than switching between similar tasks--indicating it takes longer to complete different tasks if you switch back and forth instead of doing similar ones sequentially.

Thinking about this on a larger scale (all day) with more complex tasks (the day-to-day tasks of a market researcher), the cost only grows. I lose more time on days when I have lots of smaller tasks for many projects compared to days spent on bigger tasks for fewer projects. 

Returning to the goal of improving day-to-day efficiency, here are four tips to lighten the cognitive load and reduce time spent “getting into a new mindset”:

  1. Schedule similar tasks back-to-back. For example, split your day by number-y (e.g., data cleaning) and word-y (e.g., report writing, emails) types of tasks. 
  2. Take breaks between each task to reset. Often, we’re still partially thinking about a previous task when starting a new one. Take a walk around the office or a simple deep breath to clear your mind before tackling your next “to do.”

  3. Stop trying to do everything at once. Stop reading emails the second they arrive. Block time on your calendar for each task you need to finish. Stick to those blocks by only working on that one thing during that time, even if that means closing Outlook and Skype for an hour. Your mind thinks you’re being productive when you’re doing things simultaneously, but in reality it's costing you time.

  4. Reevaluate your strategies. The second you feel like you’re not being efficient and the day is getting away from you, take a step back and think about how and why that happened. How can you make the most of your remaining time? How can you improve your workflow for a better and more productive tomorrow?

Hopefully these simple tips can help guide your productivity!

 Written by Laura Blazej, a Data Manager I who loves her calendar schedule and hates wasted time. 

Interested in joining a productive and efficient team? We're hiring!

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Topics: CMB Careers

Celebrating our First Year as Part of the ITA Group Family!

Posted by Savannah House

Wed, Sep 05, 2018

Yesterday afternoon we celebrated our one-year anniversary  as a member of the  ITA Group family!

anni1It's been an incredibly busy and exciting year but we took some time to celebrate our success, shared values, and deep commitment to delivering world-class solutions to leading brands. 

We're thrilled to work with, and be a part of, the best in the business in the world of engagement!

Thanks to all of our hard-working and dedicated colleagues and incredible clients for such a successful year. 

Want to join a winning team? We're growing! Learn more about our open positions here:

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Topics: CMB Careers, news and announcements, ITA Group

Lobster Served with a Side of Gratitude to CMB Employees

Posted by Savannah House

Wed, Aug 08, 2018

Last Friday we took a break to celebrate our team’s hard work at the annual CMB Summer Party. It was a hot and humid day—even for New England’s standards—but that didn’t stop us from coming out to celebrate the summer season with a good old fashioned New England clambake.

The Summer Party is one of our favorite days of the year because it brings Boston-based and remote CMBers together for a fun day of good food, conversation, and relaxation. Nothing says team bonding like matching lobster bibs! 

CMB Summer Party 2018 (1)

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Call it cliché, but at CMB, it’s true. CMBers are the company’s most valuable resources, and whether it’s at the Summer Party, one of the many CMB Social Committee-sponsored events, or our internal CMBU training program, we continually strive to recognize employees’ hard work, foster creativity, provide flexibility, and encourage professional growth.

CMB Summer Party 2018 (6)

Interested in joining the CMB team? We’re always looking for smart, curious, and experienced market research professionals. Check out our latest openings below:

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Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, CMB Careers, professional development

A New Year's Resolution For All Professionals

Posted by Dana Vaille

Wed, Dec 27, 2017

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My New Year’s Resolution came to me at a recent manager’s meeting where I was reminded of the importance of professional development—both for our teams and for ourselves. So, in 2018, I resolve to be more intentional about practicing what I preach—that we all must be committed to doing what we can to learn and grow professionally.

As a manager, one of my biggest responsibilities is to encourage and foster professional development among my team. But sometimes it’s easy to forget to take advantage of the opportunities myself. Fortunately, CMB is deeply committed to the professional development of all its employees—across departments, from the top down. My team and I are equipped with a lot resources to help us grow—CMB hosts, encourages, and supports a variety of training and development interests—both the tactical development of skills and interest-based desires.

“Professional development” can mean many things. It’s not always about correcting for a specific problem or working to close the gap on a particular skill—nor does it necessarily have to be a formal training session or coursework. We can develop ourselves in a lot of ways. From conferences and networking events to free webinars, any opportunity for growth is constructive.

No matter how far into your career you are, there’s always room for learning, improving, and refining. So, in 2018, I encourage you to continue advocating for the professional development of your team—but don’t forget about yourself.

With that I’ll “walk the walk” and resolve to identify and take advantage of at least one professional development opportunity per quarter. Wish me luck!

Interested in joining the CMB Team? Check out our open positions here.

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, CMB Careers, Market research

CMB Lights the Night for Cancer Research

Posted by Athena Rodriguez

Thu, Oct 13, 2016

Once again CMB is participating in Light the Night, a fundraising campaign for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, culminating in a walk on Boston Common on October 20th.  Our participation began back in 2008, when our coworker, Catherine, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  After two rounds of chemo, a stem cell transplant, and proton radiation therapy, I’m happy to report that she recently celebrated six years in remission!  

The money raised is used to fund research for new therapies and treatments (including those that saved Catherine) and ensure patient access to treatments.  Last year alone, LLS invested $67.2 million in blood cancer research.

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Over the past 8 years, we’ve raised over $80K—not bad for a 65 person company!  LTN is truly a company-wide endeavor, we host bake sales, BBQs, silent auctions, and a very competitive cornhole tournament.  This year we've raised over $6K, and we're still going strong. We'd like to give a big thank you to all of our clients, partners, and friends who've donated!

If you’d like to join us in the fight against cancer, please donate here or meet us on Thursday October 20th at 5PM on the Boston Common.

That's not the only way to join the CMB team, whether you are an innovation guru, a tech whiz, or a strategic selling machine, we’re looking for collaborative, engaged professionals:

Check out our open positions!

 

 

 

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, our people, CMB Careers, Light the Night,