Multitasking Reduces Your Productivity

Productivity

It Also Affects Brain Health

Take this two-minute test and you’ll see why.

So you think you’re good at multitasking? You can talk on the phone, write an email and schedule a dentist appointment online all at once, can you?

You Can’t.

Many people like to boast about their multitasking skills, which is odd since it is more efficient and produces better quality to focus on one thing at a time.

Don’t believe it? Try this exercise.

Equipment you’ll need:

  • pen or pencil
  • piece of paper
  • a timer or stopwatch
  • your brain

Step 1:

Set a timer and write the letters of the alphabet, in order, as fast as you can. Then write the numbers 1-26 in order as fast as you can. Stop the timer and take note of how long it took you.

Focusing vs multitasking

Focusing vs. Multitasking. Guess which is more proactive? Or should we say, productive?

Step 2:

Set a timer and write the letters of the alphabet and numbers 1-26 again, this time using a different pattern. Write the letter A, and underneath it write the number 1. Next, write the letter B, and underneath it write the number 2. Continue this pattern with all the numbers and letters until you get to Z and 26. Stop the timer and take note of how long it took you.

How’d You Do?

Step 1 went way faster didn’t it? Of course. The brain can’t efficiently switch between tasks, so multitasking actually costs you time. That’s time for your brain to recognize new things. And especially, of course, the time to fix the mistakes you made because you were distracted.

Now, just one final step…

Step 3:

Stop multitasking.

[Editor: A decade of data reveals that heavy multitaskers have reduced memory, according to a Stanford psychologist. “How long can you go without checking email, or glancing at your smartphone? Clifford Nass, a psychology professor at Stanford University, says today’s nonstop multitasking actually wastes more time than it saves—and he says there’s evidence it may be killing our concentration and creativity too. (NPR)]

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