The Multi-Tasking Myth
Busted! Research has shown that multi-tasking actually doesn’t make us more productive.
When we multi-task, things can go one of two ways; if the tasks involve the same skill, let’s say communication (e.g., writing an email while talking on the phone), our brains become overloaded as we try and switch between the two tasks and we inevitably end up choosing one. It’s a little bit easier when the tasks don’t require the same skill (e.g., listening to somebody talk and writing an email), but your brain still can’t really focus on both tasks to the same level, at the same time, and your attention will fade in and out of each task. Even though you might think you’re being more efficient, multi-tasking will reduce the quality of your work; it can also make you feel overwhelmed, frazzled and stressed.
Want to feel more productive and successful? Kick the multi-tasking habit with our top three tips!
1. Plan your day (aka a to-do list or action program), and set aside blocks of time to return phone calls, answer emails etc.
2. When your mind begins to wander or you feel yourself becoming distracted, take a short break; go and get a drink or even just close your eyes at your desk for a couple of minutes - you’ll be surprised how refreshed you’ll be.
3. If something urgent comes up, stop what you’re doing (note where you’re up to and what’s left to do), and give your full attention to the urgent task. Once this is completed, move back to your original task.
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