Projects, meetings, emails, notifications, social media, a million tabs on your internet browser, the disruptions go on.
Is multitasking harming your ability to work effectively?
If often takes a reminder on why it is so important to focus.
Our desires for accessibility lead to an inability to access anything.
Why does our brain feel overloaded as we drown ourselves in multiple tasks? This is a result of chronic multitasking, and it isn’t healthy for your productivity, health or quality of work.
An article on Time quoted a 2010 study by neuroscientists at the French medical research agency Inserm that showed that when people focus on two tasks simultaneously, each side of the brain tackles a different task.
If our limits are two-tasks at once, anymore we will most likely make errors.
What’s the solution?
Nass recommends a 20-minute rule. Instead of switching tasks minute to minute, allocate yourself to 20-minute chunks to a singular task, focus, and then move on.
Here’s a little humour, but also practical solution to multitasking, monotasking.
The picture below shows what happened to Paolo Cardini’s barbeque on his 3 minute TED talk when he was multitasking while barbequeing.
Similar to what happens to us when we “multitask” while trying to do something, we burn away our quality of work.
Re-think how you approach your work by focusing one singular task and providing high-quality attention to your work, as opposed to spreading yourself thin, and get nothing done.
Time is our most precious resource. Don’t multi-task your brilliance away, because imagine how much time, effort and productivity you lose simply because of a lack of focus.
Sit down, open one tab, and get it done.
What are your best-case practices for focusing? I’d love to hear them and share it. Tweet me at @gdondon and comment below.