We’ve all done it. Whether it’s watching TV while paying your bills or drafting an email while listening in at a meeting. For most of us, multitasking has become a necessary tactic to maneuver through our days without a second thought. It wouldn’t be uncommon to be checking on something else while reading this blog right now! We’re all in a race to see how productive we can be, but is multitasking helpful or hindering? According to recent research, multitasking is not only obstructive, but it actually decreases the quality of your work.
Multitasking reduces efficiency because the brain is only able to focus on one thing at a time. Trying to focus on more than one thing can decrease productivity by as much as 40%. While we think we are killing two (or more) birds with one stone, we are actually task-switching, and it takes more time to continually switch tasks than it does to just finish them. When we do attempt to accomplish more than one task at a time, our brains lack the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.
How can we shift our focus in the future to distance ourselves multitasking? For starters, plan your day in time blocks. This will help you to be able to focus on certain tasks within a specific time frame. Turn off your phone while working. Technology has become an increasingly easy distraction for us. It is important to eliminate the temptation to check our phones while working on a project that needs all of our focus. Take frequent breaks. We all need to step away from work every once and a while to keep ourselves sane. Get some fresh air, listen to some music, walk around, or do whatever you find relaxing! We don’t want to run ourselves into the ground with demanding assignments. How well do you think you are able to multitask? Take this test below, and comment with your results!