Here’s Why Multitasking is Bad for You.
A few months after I started writing, I got my first “ton of writing projects“. I won’t lie, it was quite hard for me because. I had never been in that position and I was clueless as to how best to handle everything.
However, as a beginner, I resorted to opening as many tabs on my computer as possible and conducting research for five topics at the same time.
You can’t blame me, I thought that was the only way out. Deadlines were staring right in my face and I simply thought productivity meant doing everything simultaneously.
Guess what? My strategy was lame!
Not only did I exceed deadlines, I was constantly burned out and ended up falling ill. It took me a while to understand the magic behind focusing on one task at a time.
Everyone talks about productivity and how you can achieve so much in a few minutes, the real truth is there are certain limits we have to respect. The brain can expand, but it can also crack open if you put it through too much.
Have you ever tried to take a call or draw your eyebrow while driving? How did that feel?
I’m very sure you were conscious of the fact that you’re on the road and there’s the likeliness of an accident occurring. You might also think using a hands-free is safe, it’s really not.
Agree or not, your attention will be shifted on the conversation and you either slow down or take the risk of having an accident.
Taking a phone call while writing.
I’m a writer, so I know exactly how this plays out. Writing requires your undivided attention, you have to conceive a thought in your mind before putting it down in words. During this process, any slight distraction can make you forget a crucial point or make silly mistakes.
Once I have to leave my computer in the middle of writing an article, I’d have to re-read that sentence before I understand what I previously had in mind.
The brain isn’t WhatsApp, it wouldn’t pick up from the “last seen“. Rather, the disruption may slow you down and the brain would require more energy to get back into that creative zone.
According to neuroscientists, despite our huge capacity to learn and comprehend a lot of things, we’re still originally designed to monotask. Multitasking causes us to divide our attention which hampers our efficiency and accuracy no matter how simple the tasks are.
These few reasons may just convince you to focus on one task at a time;
It’s slowing you down
You need to understand that “you’re not really multitasking, you’re simply task-switching”, says Guy Winch, author of Emotional First Aid. Productivity requires a huge percentage of our brain power. Moving back and forth on several tasks take up so much time, plus you can never completely “get in the zone” while multitasking.
You start to get stressed out.
I told you about how I tried to write five different articles at once, it stressed every single muscle in me. I was overthinking, couldn’t focus on any, I was exhausted, and most especially, I wasn’t productive.
It’s bad enough that you reply to a bulk of emails while designing a professional logo, watching a movie and studying is just the height of it. This isn’t right because you’ll definitely miss out important details of one. According to a 2011 study, choking the brain like this is enough to result in short-term memory loss.
You’re making mistakes
Everyone is a multitasker, whether we accept this or not, so we sure can relate to this. If you have to take an important call, the only reason you slow down while driving is because you love your life and can’t possibly do both successfully. It has been noted that switching between tasks reduces productivity by 40%. Your mind isn’t focused, so stretching the brain too thin will definitely give room for mistakes.
You’re not fast enough
“What tends to save the most time is to do things in batches,” says Guy Winch. “Pay your bills all at once, then send your emails all at once. Each task requires a specific mindset, and once you get in a groove you should stay there and finish.” You may think multitasking makes you faster, but it doesn’t!
You’re missing out on the good things of life
I’m running a second degree at the moment and it’s sapping so much of my resources (money and time). I can’t afford to fail any course, so each time I’ve got an examination, I try to dedicate the tiniest moments to study. These moments include being on a bus or while taking a dump.
Well, this was good, until I realized that just staring at other cars while on a bus helps me remember what I studied before I got on that bus.
Choking myself with so many facts at every free second I get isn’t so helpful, I tend to forget a lot of them in the exam hall. On the other hand, playing with my little niece, discussing random issues and just simply staring at the cute guy across the street helped me remember better.
While trying to be productive, keep in mind that our beautiful brains were designed to focus on just one thing at a time. We’re serial taskers, not multitaskers.