Multitasking is usually considered a good thing. Many job listing will ask for and many applicants will claim to have multitasking abilities. When considering your agency staff's time, you should make clear what your definition of multitasking is. If they think multitasking is doing several things at once, you may have a big problem on your hands... Wouldn't you rather have your staff do one thing at a time really well rather than many mediocre things at once? In insurance, multitasking can result in mistakes that can harm your agency as well as your clients. The time it takes to clean up a multitasking mess will outweigh any time saved trying to multitask to begin with...
Do great things... one at a time!
I like to think of multitasking as having several things pending that need to get done, but prioritizing them in a way that you can get through them faster and smarter than jumping around constantly and trying to remember where you left off. Personally, I have the personality where I like to jump around. Since childhood I could not sit still in class and still find it challenging to stay focused. However, I have had to train myself to only do one thing at a time. This has resulted in the ability to get many things done well over the course of the day. I will set a timer for no more than 45 minutes for any one task. I turn off email and phones for that period to get through the task. If I finish early, great! If not, I'll have to stop, check email, voicemail, respond to urgent issues then take a quick break and come back for another session to finish. Try it, you'll be amazed how you feel at the end of a definitive productive day.
Don't get distracted
In the age of technology it's easy to get distracted and jump around, but staying focused on one task at a time should prove more productive than multitasking several things at once. I like to start my day with a "To Get Done" list, not a "To Do" list. "To Do" leaves way too much room for procrastination. When you know you have things that need to get done, you are more likely to do them. I know lists are old school, but it's very gratifying to scratch something off that you took care of. Having the list helps me prioritize what I'm going to accomplish for the day.
Help others be more productive
Everyone can probably use some help to be more productive. Consider spending some time with your staff, observing in a helpful way on on how to make them more productive in accomplishing many things ONE at a time. This is definitely a learned skill for most. You will likely personally learn something from your staff and you can be more productive together by being less scattered. Think before using the word multitasking and make sure everyone at your business is on the same page.
Hopefully this helps change your mindset a bit about multitasking. Insurance is a challenging business with many interruptions. I believe that the most successful people in our industry know exactly hoe to prioritize their day and accomplish things in order, not chaos.