Today, we just want to tell you that multitasking is a scam.
Yes, we said it, multitasking is overrated and if you don’t believe us, here are some surprising ways it can make you less efficient than you should be
1. You’re not really multitasking
What you call multitasking is really task-switching. Why? Moving back and forth between several tasks wastes productivity because your attention keeps shifting and you never get fully “in the zone” for either activity.
2. It slows you down
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking doesn’t save time. In fact, it will probably take you longer to finish two projects when you’re jumping back and forth than it would to finish each one separately. The same is true even for behaviours as seemingly automatic as driving.
What tends to save the most time is to do things in batches. Pay your bills all at once, then send your emails all at once. Each task requires a specific mindset, and once you get in a groove you should stay there and finish.
3. It stresses you out
When researchers measured the heart rates of employees with and without constant access to office email, they found that those who received a steady stream of messages stayed in a perpetual “high alert” mode with higher heart rates.
4. You’ll miss out on life
People who are busy doing two things at once don’t even see obvious things right in front of them. This is called “inattentional blindness,” saying that even you’re physically present in a place, a lot of what’s happening isn’t actually registering in your brain.
5. It affects your memory
It makes sense that if you try to do two things at once—read a book and watch television, for example—that you’re going to miss important details of one or both. This is enough to disrupt short term memory.
6. Your relationships will suffer too
Multitasking has a much bigger effect than most people realize here. Imaging a couple having a serious conversation only for the husband to keep checking his phone. Then the wife does the same and communication just shuts down.”
7. It can make you overeat
Being distracted during mealtime can prevent your brain from fully processing what you’ve eaten. Because of that, you won’t feel as full, and may be tempted to keep eating—and to eat again a short time later.
8. It can be risky
Texting or talking on a cell phone, even with a hands-free device, is as dangerous as driving drunk—yet that doesn’t stop many adults from doing it, even while they have their own children in the car. People who keep using their phones while walking are on this table too.
9. It dampens creativity
Multitasking requires a lot of what’s known as “working memory,” or temporary brain storage, in layman’s terms. And when working memory is all used up, it can take away from our ability to think creatively.
10. It affects your ability to OHIO
No, not the state! Psychiatrists and productivity experts often recommend OHIO: Only Handle It Once for many people with ADHD but it can also be practiced by anyone who wants to be more organized. It basically means if you take something on, don’t stop until you’ve finished it.
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