Taking Multitasking To Task
In today’s frantic world, most of us multitask. We answer email while we’re talking on our phones, either for business or pleasure, while we’re also working on a project. All of this makes for a stressful existence.
When you’re stressed, you can’t be resourceful or creative. Which means you can’t escape the hamster cage of just doing what’s right in front of you to innovate and achieve your goals.
There are times when multitasking is necessary in our society and in business. Sometimes we have a lot of decisions and details that need to be addressed all at the same time. But multitasking isn’t a good habit to develop for the long term.
Don’t confuse productivity with busyness. Many people think that because they’re multitasking, they’re getting a lot done. Generally, that’s a false belief. Studies show that a person is 40% less productive with multitasking than when they focus on one thing at a time.
When someone is continually juggling a lot of balls, and handling a lot of tasks at once, they feel good and effective. Instead, they’re actually keeping themselves distracted from what they truly need to deal with. They may need to write this month’s newsletter, or call the troublesome person.
Multitasking is also addictive. Checking your email frequently causes you to want to check it even more because it activates the brain’s reward circuits. This feeling of reward then causes you to check it more. The behavior is repeated until it becomes a habit.
People who are deeply invested in multitasking will object strongly to being told it’s not effective. They’re attached to the rush and the myth that they’re being productive. Their self-image may also be connected to being one.
To have less stress, be more productive and have more creativity, reduce your multitasking. Work on one thing at a time. You can alternate projects, working on one for 30-60 minutes before moving on to another one. In this way, you’ll get more done and be calmer and more relaxed.
~ Linda-Ann Stewart
Linda-Ann Stewart helps business and professional women who feel stuck, overwhelmed and immobilized to focus, prioritize and break through so they generate more business and create a consistent income. To apply for a complimentary consultation, email LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with “Discovery” in the subject line, or call her at 928-600-0452.
3 thoughts on “Taking Multitasking To Task”
Linda-Ann, I love this! I am a recovering adrenaline junkie and I so relate. I love/hate that you nailed the ego issue! Let’s commit to circulating this in a big way. Joy is our compass….and you certainly bring joy everywhere you go so you clearly have the ability to self-manage in a way that does not require multi-tasking. Thanks for these important reminders..
Hi Katharine, Thank you so much! I struggle with focusing on one thing at a time, as everyone else does. There’s so much on our plates nowadays. I do sometimes fall off the wagon and start trying to do too many things at one time. Multitasking is so very insidious and appealing. But since I don’t make much progress when I do so, I’m reminded that focus allows us to be much more productive. That’s why I can write about it, including the ego part. Multitasking something that I have to manage as well!
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