Do you know the myth about multitasking? If you think multitasking is saving you time, you might be surprised! Many of us don’t realize how frequently we are multitasking because we are so accustomed to the constant juggling of multiple tasks, but did you know that multitasking is slowing you down? Many of us are guilty of this unproductive habit.
A Harvard Business review post found that multitasking leads to “up to 40% drop in productivity, more stress, and a 10% IQ drop” (Bergman, 2010). Similarly, a Stanford report found that “people who regularly juggle several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memories, or switch from one task to another as well as those who prefer to focus on one thing at a time” (http://goo.gl/Tw4dJ).
Even though quickly responding to text messages or checking emails while you are working on another project makes you feel like you are getting things done, the reality is quite the opposite. In fact, only 2% of people can multitask effectively (http://goo.gl/lf01N).Â For the rest of us, multitasking does not save time and it is a myth to think it does.
At Innovatively Organized, we recommend limiting the amount of multitasking you juggle throughout the day. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Plan ahead for times of peak interruptions so you are working on “light brain work” during this time and aren’t balancing multiple heavy tasks simultaneously
- Set aside specific times throughout the day to respond to emails and phone calls
- Disable notifications on your phone and computer that easily distract you
- Designate blocks of time in your schedule to truly focus on a project or task and hold yourself accountable to the appointment with yourself
Have any tips for avoiding multitasking? Share them with us!