After many years of being lied to and misled, the latest research has finally told us the truth about multitasking. It finally proves that multitasking is really ineffective.
Nevertheless, people continue to attempt to multitask because they think it’s going to help improve their productivity.
Unfortunately for these sad, misguided souls, they are wrong about this unhelpful behaviour.
So, not only would I like to tell you other reasons why multitasking will kill your productivity, I’d also like to mention some of the ways to handle more than one task if you’re being overwhelmed with numerous projects at the same time.
Does this sound like a plan? Let’s get to it.
HOW OUR BRAIN FUNCTIONS
Here’s the bottom line when it comes to our brain.
Our brain is not specifically designed to complete more than one task at the same time.
Sure, you can walk and chew gum at the same time. And you can walk and talk at the same time. But when it comes to focused attention, our brain was not created to handle two tasks or more at once.
Think about it this way…..Are you attempting to do other things as you read this article?
If so, you are actually hurting your ability to remember the information that you’re learning in this blog post. By doing more than one task at the same time, you are crippling your chances of actually learning about this topic today.
But don’t worry because you aren’t alone.
I catch myself multitasking all the time too. We’ve been trained to perform this way and it’s a bad habit that we have to break if we want to increase our productivity.
WHY IS MULTITASKING SUCH A PRODUCTIVITY KILLER?
More than anything, multitasking has the ability to disrupt our flow.
Have you ever been in the zone? Have you ever felt so focused on a singular task that you accidentally skipped lunch?
Well, that’s called being in the flow or the zone. And when you reach this state, you are so immersed in your work that distractions become completely irrelevant and you forget about all of your other tasks.
Everybody has achieved the flow state at one point or another.
If you learn how to tap into this state, you can achieve flow all the time. This is the true apex of productivity, and it’s something that we should strive for every day in our work.
MINIMISE WORKPLACE DISTRACTIONS
You have to learn how to minimise your biggest workplace distractions to consistently achieve a flow state.
Some ways to accomplish this monumental task include:
- turn your cell phone off during the workday
- close your email when you’re working on an important task
- work in an area that you won’t be disturbed if you are normally disrupted by coworkers at your desk
You may not be able to shut down your email all day, but do your best to keep it closed when you really need to focus and get in a flow state.
Email is the biggest distraction out of all of them, so it’s best to keep it turned off for as long as you can during workdays that need to be especially productive.
You have to make your most important tasks a priority when you are expected to deliver results on a particular project.
If you have important tasks that aren’t urgent, push them down on the priority list and focus on the tasks that need to get done right away.
It’s easy to track and prioritise tasks using time tracking software.
So now you know that multitasking is the ultimate productivity killer.
I understand that it’s impossible to avoid this in certain office environments, but do your best to focus on one task at a time. It’ll change your life and job for the better.