It is NO secret that multitasking is overrated! Years ago there was an article written in Time Magazine about how many mistakes are being made by the lack of focus in multitasking, but now there is even more evidence to support how it is destroying productivity and hurting relationships.
Stanford University recently wrote an article on this topic after significant research was conducted. Here is what they had to say... “High-tech jugglers are everywhere – keeping up several e-mail and instant message conversations at once, text messaging while watching television and jumping from one website to another while plowing through homework assignments." But after putting about 100 students through a series of three tests, the researchers realized those heavy media multitaskers are paying a big mental price. “They’re suckers for irrelevancy,” said communication Professor Clifford Nass, one of the researchers whose findings are published in the Aug. 24 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Everything distracts them.” Social scientists have long assumed that it’s impossible to process more than one string of information at a time. The brain just can’t do it.
Although I am not a scientist, I have thought for a long time that multitasking is so unproductive (and that is coming from a person who is going 100 miles an hour). I know that when I am working on so many different things at one time, I always make a mistake or do not produce stellar work.
Now Stanford has validated my thoughts; multitasking is less productive than doing one thing at a time. In addition to this, researchers also found that all of us are overwhelmed with many streams of electronic information from emails to social media.
Many people who know me would argue that I multitask all day long. Well I have news for everyone – I work on a lot of projects all day long – one project at a time. As I sit here writing this blog, I am only focused on this. I haven’t looked at my email once, checked Facebook or picked up the phone to talk to someone. I blocked out 30 minutes to write this blog and that is what I am doing.
Multitasking does NOT make you more efficient. In fact, it slows down your productivity because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.