Multitasking is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Sounds a bit shocking right? According to research, it is not the most effective way to get things done.
Let’s discuss why focusing on multiple task at once can do more harm than good:
It’s Not As Efficient As You Think
According to an article on the National Library of Medicine’s website, each time our brain has to switch to a different task, there is a “switch cost”. The price of the “switch cost” is that tasks are not done as quickly or as accurately. In fact, according to a study at Stanford University, people who multi-tasked often were less likely to focus on incoming data and have reduced memory.
It Hinders Attention Span
When continually jumping from task to task you are training your brain to have a scattered focus. Have you ever noticed that when you spend lots of time scrolling social media, TV shows and movies begin to get confusing, or you lose where the plot is going? There’s a reason for that. While it may feel good, it is an unhealthy habit that can hinder you in the long run.
It Prevents Deep Focus
Creative solutions often require deep focus. When your brain is busy multitasking, it doesn’t have as much time to rest in between. This lack of mental space can cause thoughts to become more anxious, hurried, and unproductive. When we take time to learn, focus and think deeply we activate a different sector of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. According to an article by Asana (“What is Deep Work? 7 Ways to Boost Your Concentration”), “when you concentrate deeply, your brain cements learning pathways and strengthens the connections between neurons so they can fire faster. That means when you focus intensely on a specific skill, you’re literally rewiring your brain to help you perform that skill more effectively.”
New Ways of Thinking
As brain research continues to develop, it has become clear that while technology can be helpful at work, a perhaps more effective tool is learning to harness the power of our minds in a singular direction. Yes, this even includes email.
This type of discipline in our thinking isn’t always easy to achieve, but with practice, will help you move away from the habit of multitasking. Calendar blocking time for specific tasks, turning off your electronics while working, and scheduling in time to simply sit and brainstorm without distraction for several minutes are all ways to move toward focus.
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