Multitasking is a myth, here is why and how you should avoid it

Multitasking directly affects Productivity and Efficiency of an individual making life more stressful

This article is being brought to all our readers especially those who believe in fast pace life and further are very proud for being able to multitask their official work or any personal day to day life activities.

Lets check a common scenario, suppose you were thinking about some important project and all of a sudden were distracted by some message on Facebook or Twitter. This distraction led to a scenario where you got distracted from some thread of thoughts which seemed to be an appropriate answer for your project. Alas! you are not able to recollect that great idea once you are back to your thoughts regarding the project. Now, this is one of the common disadvantage of multitasking.

Over a period of time people have started believing that Multitasking is a “must”. Each and every individual of the present times is involved in multitasking, for instance we text messages while walking, keep sending emails during meetings, chat on phone while cooking. Today if an individual is doing just one thing at a time it seems that the person is wasting time!

Researchers have shown that multitasking does not make you Efficient, on the contrary it affects yourProductivity by as much as 40% and can also be harmful for the health. Besides, multitasking leads to shrinking of brain, due to reduction of density in a region that is responsible for cognitive and emotional control of human being, which results in lowering the IQ of an individual.

A recent survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows how our society is affected by multitasking. The study showed that almost 31% of U.S. drivers between the age of 18 and 64 had either read or sent text/email messages while driving and surprisingly 69% reported that they had even talked on their cell phones while driving.

Let us first check out the disadvantages of Multitasking, below given are the reasons which readers need to read by stopping all their work and understand why this is important. Now, lets begin:

  • Major source of Stress: It has been proved by researchers that humans are genetically not good at multitasking and it is very bad for productivity. What people do not know is that multitasking is a sort of frequent interruption on our work which starts building stress that would ultimately start showing on the physical as well as mental health of that individual. Though most of the researchers have accepted that multitasking affects productivity and efficiency, there are few experts who believe that multitasking can actually increase productivity to certain extent and this could be because when a person is actually in the multitasking mode it increases the overall mental pressure and the sense of urgency which could be a positive trigger to get things done much faster. However, experts feel this pressure also is a form of stress which affects the physiology and over a long period of time might completely affect the health and also hinder that person’s ability to focus on major work.
  • Loose out on Focus: It has been observed that when a human brain is focused on single work and its related thoughts it works at its best. On the contrary, when a human brain tries to focus on multiple unrelated thoughts it can be frustrating for the brain to tackle various unrelated thoughts that are bombarded constantly and more so in case when a human is working under the pressure of meeting deadlines. Thus, it could seem that multitasking does increase the productivity for a short term; however, on a longer term it is not sustainable because with the accumulation of unwanted stress that individual will loose out on their focus thus affecting not only productivity but also the ability to cope up in such scenarios.
  • Leads to lack of accomplishment and frustrations: Multitasking is a vicious circle. People who are used to multitasking are not able to complete short term goals. Further, due to multitasking they are busy the entire day; however at the end of the day it seems they were not able to achieve much. This lack of accomplishment usually leads to frustration, stress and a need to again get into multitasking in order to make up for the time lost and complete their tasks faster.

Having seen all these disadvantages, a thought definitely comes up, how can we get our things done faster without multitasking. The answer is to prioritize our work and get it done in the sequence of higher priority and moving towards the lower priority ones. This approach will give a sense of accomplishment and also things will be done much faster as the individual is working with much focus and also the stress is lowered.

Having seen the disadvantages of multitasking, we would also like to help our readers with Top 9  tipswhich they can follow to avoid multitasking:

  1. Multitasking is a Myth: With all the things mentioned above in this article I think our readers have realized that Multitasking is a myth and they need to believe this and try avoiding getting into multitasking mode.
  2. Prioritizing work and starting early: Make it a habit to prepare a task list for the day every morning and let the list be prepared on the basis of priority with respect to your goals. Focus on getting the most important work done and leave the least important work to be done towards the end of the day and even if it is not done the same day it can be postponed to next day. Try to work on the priority tasks during early hours of the day as you will get the maximum time to accomplish the work.
  3. Keep the distracting thoughts at bay: This is very much essential. If a person is working on computer then see to it that all the unwanted windows like Twitter, Facebook, Emails are shut down because if these windows are open then any notification will be a source of distraction and person is likely to lose on their focus. It is also advisable to keep the phone silent or switch off depending on the task that is being worked upon.
  4. Conducive Workplace: It would be most beneficial for an individual to work in an environment that would help to conduct their task with full focus. It is advisable to isolate yourself from interrupting people who tend to distract you from your work.
  5. Try practicing “ClusterTasking” technique: It has been observed that for some individuals its a tedious task if they have to read and reply to emails, text messages and social media all at the same time. In this scenario it is advisable to stick to ClusterTasking technique wherein individuals can divide their related tasks into specific segments which they can tackle during specific time of the day. For instance, in the above scenario, the person can check their emails and messages thrice in an entire day, could be early morning when they reach office, before lunch and towards end of the day.
  6. Give time to yourself: It is essential to grow the attention span and right now the attention span of a human mind is eight seconds. Researchers say that if humans can give time for themselves and their thoughts each day then they can increase their focusing capacity and in turn their attention span.
  7. Learn to say ‘NO’: Sometimes people take you for granted. Hence learn to say NO in life. When an individual tries to do all things then they get stuck up in their work and half done work is the main cause of frustration. Instead, learn to say No, so you will be free from constant frustration and the person asking for favor will also know that you have been clear in giving the message that you will not do the task. This can help a person to concentrate on their work better.
  8. Learn to live in Present: It has been observed that when a person is constantly thinking about Past or worried about Future, then it affects their concentration on the work thus leading to Scattered Brain Syndrome. Hence, learn to live in present so as to get the true essence of your life, including work, relationships and all the other essential fields that matters you the most.
  9. Ask friends, colleagues and family members: By now, I think readers are fully aware of how important it is to stick to Single Tasking. However, it is possible for any human to relapse in the Multitasking mode as it has become our habit for a long time. Hence from now on, tell your immediate colleagues, family members and friends to remind you if they happen to see you in the Multitasking mode.

It seems shifting from Multitasking to Single Tasking is the only clue to lead a more satisfied lifestyle. Hope, readers will be able to correlate the ideas which our team has tried to bring to their notice and will enjoy the Prioritized Single Tasking from now on. Let us know if you have any other methods to avoid Multitasking, please leave the suggestions in comments section below.


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Maya Kamath
Maya Kamath
Content writer with unending love to pen down my thoughts and views regarding the new technological inventions as well as probe into the current affairs. Feel as if i am free bird who can actually live life at my pace.



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