It’s crazy how life takes hold of us – really, truly – it is. Today, it has become commonplace to feel the need to reach a certain level of “multitasking mania” of whatever, to be “successful” or productive.
Let’s rephrase, we have gotten into the mentality that we have to be achieving 15 things at once for the day to be truly made worthwhile.
Why do so many of us still insist on undertaking multiple things at once as a way of increasing our productivity?
Technology was supposedly invented to make our lives easier, not motivate us to simultaneously communicate, engage and work across six different platforms or technologies. Yet, that’s exactly what’s happened.
There are numerous studies, which have explored the effects of how multitasking fundamentally increases the stress and anxiety within our daily lives, which then of course, negatively impacts our mood, motivation, and productivity.
To this end, it all becomes counterproductive!
The crux: iStratus is here to help reduce your need to multitask. Prioritizing is always key to avoiding the mind boggle. In this article, we’re going to address 5 worthy reasons why you should begin switching your multitasking habits more towards “solo-tasking” instead.
Multi Tasks = Multi Mistakes
Logically, when undertaking several things at once, your mind is divided between them all, so it’s a typical knock-on effect that errors will multiply. According to research in the UK, multitasking makes filtering out irrelevant information difficult. In the end, there will undoubtedly be some cross-firing and mental mix-ups between tasks.
Can we afford these mistakes? Likely not. Thus, each task should have full attention, solo.
Your Brain is in Overload Mode
By juggling multiple objectives at once, your mind simply isn’t fully focused on any given task. Have you ever been introduced to someone new and then instantly forgotten what their name was?
– Hands up folks.
This happens because our mind is distracted by something else and doesn’t retain that new piece of information provided.
This inability to concentrate can indeed impact your professional life but there are implications upon the personal aspects as well. When we’re not living in the present, we are essentially only half-available.
Creativity is Stifled
You may recall, we’ve mentioned in previous iStratus articles focussing on too many tasks at once, your working memory is left conjuring up ideas and concepts.
When that overload occurs we stop accessing other areas of our frontal lobe that are there to be used for critical thinking and creativity.
Multitasking is a Waste of Time
In an attempt to complete small, seemingly insignificant tasks while trying to close out a larger one, the mind has to reset itself each time it shifts from task to task.
Therefore we are unable to maintain what’s known as our “flow states”. You have probably experienced this before. For example:
While reading an email working from home, the phone rings, kids require feeding or the dog needs a wee walk that cannot wait.
An hour and a half an hour later, you find yourself back at your laptop having to re-read that email, surprised by how much you’ve already forgotten due to the interruption.
Increasing that feeling of anxiety, which habitually plagues people who regularly have to divide their attention multiple ways.
Professionally, maintaining flow states undeniably increases productivity!
Are You Living?
The truth is: Connecting with your immediate surroundings or interacting fully with other human beings is what gives us can that sense of deep fulfillment.
By considering the reasons listed above it’s quite easy to see why the idea of effective multitasking is a bit of a myth.
“Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you’re going to use it by knowing…what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus.”
~ Oprah Winfrey
As humans, we want to accomplish things that matter.
So, what do you do from here? iStratus recommends these methods to strengthen productivity and cut back your stress levels:
- Keep your work routine structured as best you can throughout the day. For instance: Undertake those more creative tasks in the morning, then take a short coffee or tea break, before proceeding to address each task you need to complete. (Separately of course)!
- Share some of your weekly goals and accomplishments with family and friends. When you publicly commit to achieving certain priorities it often motivates you to finalize things on your To-Do List. Acknowledging achievements helps too.
- Pause checking your emails every hour or three. Avoid “running” to answer your emails immediately. Sometimes it’s necessary to “train” people (yourself included) not to expect immediate responses. You need time and space to focus on the things that require addressing in the now!
Are you still convinced multitasking is productive? We’re not so sure it is. Why not try letting iStratus become your one stop-app for avoiding “multitasking mania”?