We are often the ones that push ourselves the hardest and put pressure on ourselves to get so much done within a day. Each day only has so many hours so we resort to multi-taking to get things done. But is multi-taking effective? Or would we actually be more productive in the long run if we focused on one thing at a time?
The goal of multitasking is to efficiently complete 2 or more tasks at the same time. What research shows is that the brain is actually not capable of this. What the brain does is keeps switching back and forth from one task to the other. This unfocused back and forth switching actually causes both tasks to get done at a slower rate. According to Psychology Today, when you attempt to multi-task you actually end up taking you 40% longer to finish then you would by just giving one task your attention.
Not only does multi-tasking slow you down, it has other downsides. It can cause you to feel anxious. When we feel productive, we feel good. Feeling unproductive does not produce those same positive feelings. So when we slow down our effectiveness, anxiety can creep in. Multi-taking also occupies our brain which can take away creativity. Creativity loves space. When your brain is crowded with tasks, it is less spacious. This busy brain state can also result in more mistakes. When you are not as focused you increase the margin for error.
So multi-tasking causes you to worker slower, be less creative, increase your anxiety levels and make more mistakes. This does not sound like a winner to us.
The more you multi-task, the more your brain gets used to that super busy mode as opposed to a spacious focused mode. We recommend, prioritizing tasks and tackling them one at a time. Remind yourself that this is the most productive path to success.
Here is a fun little multi-tasking test for you.
1) Spell aloud, letter by letter, “Leggings are comfortable” at the same time as you write your full name.
2) Spell aloud, letter by letter, “Leggings are comfortable” and then, after you are done with that, write your name.
Comment and let us know your experience with multitasking.