Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement

Multi-Tasking – Is It Beneficial Or Detrimental?

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Multi-tasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.     

Gary W. Keller

Not too long ago, multitasking was considered the thing to do. It was encouraged, and you heard people comment, even brag, about how good they were at it.

But the thinking has changed on that theory. No, multitasking is not the best practice for us. It is not an efficient way to work. It is now considered counterproductive.

There is now a new word—multitasking is now called switch-tasking. When I first researched the terms, I expected them to have two different meanings. After reading several articles, I found there is no difference. As a reference, you can read “Switchtasking Versus Multitasking. What Is The Difference?” written by Dave Crenshaw. https://davecrenshaw.com/switchtasking-versus-multitasking-what-is-the-difference-2/

He stated in his article, ” The generally accepted answer was incorrect, which was that switchtasking is when you stop and switch your attention back and forth whereas multitasking is when you are trying to do multiple things at the same time.  The correct answer is that they are the same—there is no difference. Switchtasking is the word I created to describe what is really taking place when people attempt to multitask.”

Neither theory is beneficial, and the emphasis should be doing, and completing each task by itself, without switching gears and also working on something else at the same time.

Giving your full attention to anything will have a better outcome. Doing one thing at a time allows you to do it properly, eliminating the need to do it over a second or third time.

We all multitask on some level but think about doing two simple tasks at the same time. The question is, are we efficient? Something as easy as reading an email while talking on the phone. Are you understanding the email, and actively listening to the conversation? Do you have to stop and ask them to repeat something they said or reread the email to get clarification? It is not productive, yet we do it all the time.

Multitasking divides your attention and leads to confusion and weakened focus.     

Deepak Chopra

We are wasting time. It is more efficient to set aside a specific time each day to view our email. The first thing in the morning is a good time to scan and respond to the most important messages that may affect the rest of your day. Then close your email and do not revisit until later in the day. If you keep your email open and keep scanning it, you are wasting time; it is a distraction.

When you are working, your cell phone should be turned off. Each time you look at your phone, you may be missing something. We make enough brain vacations on our own when we let our minds wander during a meeting, a presentation, or when we are in a conversation. We do not need the added distraction of our phone.

We should give our undivided attention to, virtually, everything we do. If it is worth doing, it deserves our concentration and our best effort.

Multitasking slows us down. We are less effective and take more time trying to do two things at once.

Experts say that there is a 40% loss in productivity when we multitask. We may be able to handle two less complicated tasks without too many errors or wasting too much time; although this is never a good practice. However, when you are attempting to complete more critical tasks, the number of mistakes you make increases.

There is one effect I think we will all recognize and understand; stress. When we multitask, we raise our heart rate and our stress level. Our brains respond by pumping out adrenaline and stress hormones, which over time, are not healthy and can cause significant health problems, such as heart disease..

Our understanding decreases. When we continuously switch from task to task, our comprehension level drops. Multitasking causes us to miss some of the critical ideas and information, which means we are not focusing on the details.

Studies have shown that multitaskers have so much going on in their heads that they often find it harder to daydream and generate spontaneous “aha moments”. Creative thinking means you may produce unique ideas, putting a new twist on the standard way of thinking. That is a good thing because you will be more energized at work, and you will not be creating cookie-cutter ideas, but something new and different.

The more you multitask, the less deliberative you become; the less able to think and reason out a problem.

Nicholas Carr

The bottom line is each time you interrupt your thought process, you are wasting time. When this is done multiple times throughout the day, there can be a significant impact on your productivity.

Look for and do everything you can; to plan and schedule your workday. Work to continually eliminate the unnecessary activities in such a way that they do not negatively impact the team you are working with or yourself.

Most of the time multitasking is an illusion. You think you are multitasking but in reality you’re actually wasting time switching from one task to another.

Bosco Tjan

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day!

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“Life is meant to be fun, and joyous, and fulfilling.”

Jim Henson
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