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Multi-Tasking Is a Four-Letter Word!

Did you realize that even if you think you are a great multi-tasker … you’re probably operating just slightly above the level of being drunk?

Surprised you, huh?

multitasking messing several at onceAccording to the MacMillan Dictionary, multitasking is the activity of doing more than one thing at the same time, such as talking on the phone while you are working on a computer.

Interestingly, one’s perception of his or her multitasking skills is not a reliable indicator.  In fact, the people who thought they were the best multitaskers were worse off than their peers who didn’t assess themselves as highly.


Multi-Tasking Is a Four-Letter Word!

Multitasking may cause you to feel like you’re getting more done quicker, but in reality, you’re actually moving slower and being much less efficient.

According to Joe Girard, noted expert in sales training, personal development, and organizational change, multitasking is a myth:

“Did you know that you actually go slower when you are switching between tasks?  There are two stages in your brain that make up your “executive control” processes. One is called goal shifting (“I want this now instead of that”) and the other stage is rule activation (“I’m turning off the rules for that and turning on the rules for this“)”

Unfortunately, when we are constantly switching from one task to another, we are creating a lot of unnecessary mental “friction” that actually slows us down and wears us out.  We feel stressed and fatigued more easily.


Perils Of Multitasking


Habitual multitaskers have more trouble organizing their thoughts and staying focused on relevant information. They were also actually slower at switching from one task to another.

Human beings are really not built for multi-tasking.  What we think of as multitasking is simply doing things in sequence – very quickly.  You might think that you’re multi-tasking, but you’re really only doing one thing at a time, followed by another thing and another … albeit that sequence happens very quickly!

Numerous studies have demonstrated that multi-tasking is bad for us … and they’ve compared the results to people using alcohol or marijuana.  It even stifles your creativity.

A Stanford University research study found that people who tried to multitask were less effective than those who simply worked to complete one task at a time.  Being regularly bombarded with multiple inputs at the same time impairs – rather than helps – attention span, memory recall, etc.

The researchers found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.

According to Entrepreneur, another University of London study found that people who multitasked during cognitive tasks actually experienced a drop in their IQ scores.  Again, the results were similar to a marijuana smoker or someone who had been up all night.  Their study measured IQ score drops for multitasking men of 15 points, which brought their scores down to the level of an 8-year-old child.


Multi-Tasking Is a Four-Letter Word!

So, how do we take our lives back from the multi-tasking gremlins?  First, we need to become aware of our habitual multitasking activities – whether it’s driving and talking on the phone, texting while having dinner with friends or family, working the computer and talking on the phone, etc. … Then, we need to just slow down, breathe, and become truly present to our immediate situation, whether that be a task at work, dinner with the family, or a date with your significant other.

You get the picture … it’s a pretty commonplace occurrence and one that sneaks up on us, especially when the boss is chasing us for that report that’s due tomorrow or that big order that has to go out today – no matter what!

To learn more about multitasking and its effects on humans, check out Guy Winch’s book, Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts.

How do you get pulled into the multitasking trap?  Do you find it’s more of a problem at work or at home?  Share your experiences in the comments below.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re probably very familiar with this concept – and the constant tug at you to wear many different hats and play many different roles within your company … all at the same time!

Don’t you find that to be really draining?  How about adopting tools and systems that will allow you to focus on just one thing at a time … e.g., the marketing activities you know you should be spending more time on if you really want to grow your business?stop multitasking

Check out the digital franchise-style system by clicking the banner below to learn how you can let the tools and systems do a lot of that “heavy lifting” for you so that you can have more time to spend on marketing and business development.  Click the banner below to find out how.

Are you eager to get out of the multitasking trap and become more efficient and productive? Take the first steps today!


PS: Check out these related posts:


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Sue White

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#multitasking #timemanagement #productivity

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