In my January post, I briefly touched on the subject of multitasking and why it’s not ideal. Today I want to talk about this topic a bit more because I feel strongly about the effects that multitasking has on individuals.
- Less Focus. Staying focused was the topic of my post in January, so I’m not going to go too deep into this point. The gist of this bullet is that you can’t be focused on two things at once, no matter how good of a “multitasker” you are. All you’re doing is working on several items one at a time and switching between them very quickly. This makes your concentration on each task weak, which can then affect your work.
- Lower Productivity. You may think you’re getting more done, but you’re not. Because you are less focused when “multitasking,” you therefore take longer to accomplish each task. Research shows that people who perform one task at a time are actually able to complete their task quicker and in a more productive way than those attempting to multitask. Not only are you less productive while multitasking, you are also less accurate and less efficient.
- Additional Stress. Do you want to feel stressed? I don’t think anyone does! Many times working on multiple tasks can bring on unnecessary stress that can easily be avoided. I’m sure we are all aware that stress is definitely not beneficial and only causes more harm to our health and well-being. Is your health worth the mediocre work that will be produced when you’re trying to multitask? I currently work at a job that makes you feel like you constantly need to multitask and my coworkers are constantly working on multiple tasks at once. However, my approach is to simply tackle one item at a time. I know that if I attempt to work on multiple items, it will be overwhelming and no job is worth the added stress. After all, there is only so much one person can do during an eight hour work day. If they want to fire me because they don’t think I’m working hard because I don’t multitask, that’s fine. However, I can confidently say that they will not fire me because of the work and positivity I bring to the office (not to toot my own horn) that the other workers don’t express because they are under stress!
- Less Creative. For me personally, creativity is very important to have as a quality. I feel that this is what brings new ideas into the world in order to help us all expand and continue to build a better tomorrow! According to research done in 2010, your mind is so filled with the thoughts of whatever you are multitasking on that there’s no room for your brain to daydream and think creatively. When you are done multitasking and attempt to take a breather to be creative, it is harder for your mind because it’s so exhausted after multitasking.
A Harvard study once found that if you set aside as little as one and a half hours a day to focus on one task at a time, you are more productive, more creative, and happier!
Why not focus on one task at a time instead of attempting multiple tasks if you can be more focused, more productive, less stressed, more creative, and produce more effective and efficient work?!
– Alena Y.