Why You Should Kick The Multitasking Habit
Although your version may be more along the lines of texting while cooking dinner, multitasking is becoming more and more common in today’s fast-paced world, and most of it have probably done it at one point or another. However, although it may seem logical that we get more done when we multitask, multitasking can be counter productive.
1. The Brain Can’t Multitask
Our brains have a limited capacity. Adding tasks doesn’t make this capacity larger, it only increases the load of inputs and the amount of mental effort needed to handle them. Therefore, the more tasks we try to do, the less attention we are able to give to each task.
According to a 2013 survey, a cognitive overload lessens the quality of performance, especially in cases in which accurate judgment is required. Yet another study found that by increasing the number of things the brain needs to pay attention to, you cause it to bottleneck, blocking the ability to make decisions and awareness of information.
2. Why We Multitask
We usually multitask because it gives us the illusion that we are being more productive. However, while multitasking may bring us short-term gratification, it takes away from long term efficiency.
Making decisions about what we need to do and what is most important takes effort and it may not seem like much of an immediate accomplishment. In fact, hesitation may create the perception of laziness. It may also be risky, as it involves betting giving priority to some things while ignoring others. Often, doing a little of everything seems safer.
3. Quality Over Quantity
Multitasking often prevents us from evaluating the things we do individually. We do things quickly without assessing their importance. This leads to a tendency to react to all problems similarly instead of thinking them out and solving them. It’s easy to mistake getting things done for problem-solving. Accomplishing tasks doesn’t always bring us toward our larger goals. In fact, we may even use our busyness to avoid tackling more difficult and important issues. We need to choose what will bring us closest to getting us where we ultimately want to be in life. People do their best work when they give each thing the maximum amount of attention.
If you are a multitasker, put down the cell phone, turn off the computer and tv, put down the baby and take some time to let us know how your feel. We love to hear from you.