If you are reading this right now, all the while trying to run after your children, eat breakfast, and check your smart phone, then you are a victim of the ancient habit of multi-tasking. And I’m here to tell you something you may not be ready to hear: Multitasking is a fallacy. It’s not real!
Research has shown that it not only doesn’t make us more productive, in fact, it makes us less productive – effectively doubling the amount of time it would normally take for us to get a single task done – then if we were to just focus on one thing at a time! As a result of trying to make your brain switch back and forth between tasks, errors go up, your IQ goes down and the quality of your work goes down with it.
I know what you’re thinking, “Not me! I’m a great multitasker!” Actually, you’re not – and there seems to be a major misconception among women that we are great at it. Don’t get me wrong, washing the dishes (not my personal favorite) and talking on the phone is fine, but most things require your full attention and will suffer as a result of your thinking you can do them both or all at the same time.
Your brain literally cannot focus on more than one thing at a time. Instead, it simply switches back and forth between tasks, effectively making you less productive, and admittedly, a little nutty!
You should know that I say this all the while knowing that I am more guilty than the next person! With so much (sometimes too much) on my plate: building a home, decorating an apartment, running a business, launching a blog, taking care of my husband and step children, exercising (a #1 priority) and of course my friends without whom I would be lost, I try to fit it all in and multitask my way through it all. But it doesn’t work.
But, obviously I don’t want to give any of it up, and neither do you. So, how do we make time for it all? We choose to focus on one thing at a time, giving it our full attention. This, in turn, allows up to get tasks completed without distraction, albeit faster and more effectively.
So let’s keep it simple and just say NO to multitasking.
Photo: Viktor Hanacek