Doing several things at once is a trick we play on ourselves, convincing our brains we’re getting more done than we actually are. In reality, when we try and do more than one thing at a time, our productivity goes down by as much as 40 per cent according to some studies.
How can this be, you ask? It turns out multitasking would be better described as switching tasks, because humans are actually incapable of doing multiple things at once.
When you multitask, you’re just switching between two, three or four different tasks — interrupting yourself incredibly unproductively as you go — and wasting time along with it. Not convinced you should give up the bad habit? Read on!
1. Multitasking wastes time
It takes longer to finish a task when you’re constantly getting distracted and dividing your attention between multiple things. To avoid the pitfalls of multitasking, acknowledge you have work to do and – as activewear giants Nike say – Just Do It. You’ll thank yourself later.
2. You’re more likely to make mistakes when multitasking
When you divide your attention between several tasks, the number of mistakes you make trebles. If you’re not happy with introducing errors into your work or your life because of multitasking, embrace “single-tasking” and watch your productivity and accuracy fly!
3. Multitasking lowers your IQ
Simply put, your brain is not a fan of multitasking. As well as suffering the short term effects, people who multitask have been known to suffer similar cognitive deficiencies as people who do drugs or pull all-nighters. So, not good. This happens when you try and force your brain to do too many things at once.
4. Multitasking stops you processing and remembering information correctly
While you may think of yourself as a good multitasker, you’re probably not absorbing information as well as you think you are – as you probably won’t remember the contents of the article you read while watching TV in 10 minutes’ time.