7 Reasons to Stop Multitasking Right Now

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This is a guest post by Monique Craig, who works with Oneflare, a reliable online marketplace connecting Australians with local businesses. 

Multitasking is often seen as the mark of the overachiever. The superhero of the office.

People who can’t juggle so much at once are often envious of those who can multitask, but should they be?

In truth, multitasking is more likely to throw things off course than it is to be a testament of productivity. It may be time to reconsider the way you do things by working multitasking out of your life.


The Problem(s) With Multitasking

Multitasking causes issues you may not have considered.  Here are 7 Reasons to Stop Multitasking Right Now:

  1. It’s not working as well as you think.  Picture yourself at a social gathering. There are groups of people having other conversations all around you. There may even be some people playing a game in your vicinity. You’re not focusing on them, because you’re focusing on the conversation you’re currently having. That’s because your brain automatically tunes out anything that doesn’t pertain to the task at hand. Even when you’re multitasking, you can only focus on one activity at a time.
  2. It’s a hidden hindrance.  In most cases, you’re only really capable of doing one thing at a time. Constantly switching your train of thought to bounce between a multitude of tasks is too trying for your attention span to handle. This means everything you’re doing simultaneously will suffer to some degree, as your mind is attempting to conserve resources. “Excellent” can become “good enough” without you even realizing it.
  3. You aren’t working faster.  You may think you’re saving time by attempting to do several things at once. This is deceptive, and it doesn’t line up with the reality of the matter. By accomplishing many tasks in the same time frame, you’re actually working slower than you would if you were to work all of these projects separately. Devoting your entire attention to one task, completing it, and then moving on to the next thing takes less time, because you’re able to find your “zone.”
  4. Stress levels will soar. Think about how accomplished you feel after you complete a task. You’re done! You have a moment to breathe, and you’re confident in your work. When you’re working on five things at the same time, that moment of accomplishment comes further down the list. You won’t be able to see your progress as clearly, and you’ll feel like you’re working for nothing. Don’t place that needless stress on yourself.
  5. You’re limiting your short term memory. Something may need a tiny revision. You’ll make note of that before you go back to your other task. You’re switching channels very fast, and you’re not giving yourself enough time to properly take mental notes. Wouldn’t it be better to make that revision immediately, so you don’t forget to do it later? Of course it would. Multitasking gives you plenty of small opportunities to become forgetful.
  6. You’re saying goodbye to your creativity. Creativity comes with time and exploration. When you’re multitasking, you’re trying to take the least amount of time possible to do many things. This means you’re missing the smaller points. The room for innovation. The embellishments that leave a lasting impression. When you’re multitasking, you’re only focused on getting things done. You’re not exploring and analyzing what you’re doing. That leads to tons of missed opportunities to enhance your skills.
  7. Nobody is actually good at it. Think about using your cellphone behind the wheel. You probably have an idea of how dangerous that is, especially seeing the amount of tragic accidents that occur as a result of texting and driving. That’s a form of multitasking with serious consequences. The majority of people who text and drive believe they can do so safely, when in reality, they’re lying to themselves. You’re probably making the same mistake, but on a less significant level.

Multitasking Isn’t For Serious Work

Remove multitasking from the serious aspects of your life.  If you must multitask, do it in fun ways such as sharing pizza and watching Netflix while conversing with your friends. You’ll save some sanity and be happier with your end results.

Question: How can you improve your productivity, with better focus and less multitasking? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

9 thoughts on “7 Reasons to Stop Multitasking Right Now

  1. Hi Monique.

    Multitasking is very overrated.

    Since our mind can only focus on one thing at a time, it makes no sense to try and do quality work while multitasking.

    Also the mind takes a certain amount of time to generate the natural flow of work that helps to do quality work. Such a flow is broken each time we switch to a different task.

    However, there could be many low priority activities that are so boring to do that switching around them (multitasking) with music headphones put on, could actually make them less boring and help us get them done.

    But NEVER for quality based, focused work.

  2. Hey Monique,
    Nice insight here.
    I am a big fan of doing work one at a time. Multi-tasking seems to be some kind of super power. I didn’t bother to have or gain one.
    When our energy is spent on single thing in a limited time, we excel and can move to next task.
    Loved it. Just tweeted…

  3. Yup, multitasking is dumb and antiquated. I remember years ago, how it was seen as so cool to be a multi-taskers. Employers even to this day will still ask whether candidates can multitask or not. I choose batch tasking over multi tasking to greatly lower the context switch time cost that comes with mult-tasking. Do employers these days even know what multitasking is?

  4. It is good to engage in doing what is right at the right time…. focusing is the key factor!

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