Multitasking- something we do every day right? We might even call ourselves experts. We try to do it all, using the phone while driving, texting while walking, replying to emails during meetings, and browsing while eating.
We think it helps increase productivity, because why take up time to do one task when you can finish several? But contrary to popular belief, multitasking doesn’t help improve anything.
Here are 10 reasons why you should stop multitasking and start concentrating on finishing tasks, one at a time:
1. Our brains have a limited capacity
When it comes to attention and productivity, our brains have a limited capacity to stay focused and perform. Moving back and forth between several tasks may actually lower efficiency, because your attention is spent on the act of moving in between tasks rather than the tasks themselves. So you never really give your 100% to any activity.
2. It slows you down
Multitasking slows you down and it doesn’t save time. In fact, it will probably take you much longer to finish two projects when you’re jumping back and forth than it would to finish each one separately.
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3. Productivity is lost
It is estimated that switching between tasks can cause a 40% loss in productivity. It can also cause you to make mistakes in whatever you’re working on, especially if one or more of your activities involve a lot of critical thinking.
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4. Causes stress
The very act of multitasking causes mental stress which also manifests itself as body issues like headaches.
5. Loss of mindfulness
Doing two or more things at once causes you to miss out on one thing or the other in your surroundings. Studies have shown that mobile phone users, who were walking around, were technically looking at their surroundings but no part of the conversation they were having was actually registering.
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6. Your memory may suffer
If you try to do two things at once- read a book and watch television, for example, it is definitely possible that you’re going to miss important details of one or both. Even interrupting one task to suddenly focus on another can be enough to disrupt short term memory.
7. It hurts relationships too
Studies show that just having a cell phone nearby during personal conversations even if neither of you are using it can cause friction and trust issues.
8. It can make you overeat
Being distracted during mealtime can prevent your brain from fully processing what you’ve eaten, causing you to eat more than you should. Even people who eat alone should refrain from turning on the television while eating, to truly pay attention to their food
9. It reduces creativity
Trying to focus on too many things can actually hamper performance on creative problem-solving tasks, making you less spontaneous.
10. It can be dangerous
Texting or talking on a cell phone, even with a hands-free device, is as dangerous as driving drunk. Research also shows that people who use mobile devices while walking are less likely to look before crossing a road.
So stop multitasking, and start focusing on one thing at a time and see the difference.
Advice from The Wellness Corner
It's normal to feel gloomy or nervous from time to time. However, if your mood is interfering with your ability to be effective and productive at work, it may be an indication that you need to talk to someone.
Talking to a mental health professional may help you untangle the complexities. They may be able to guide you to think, feel, and perform at your best.