You’ve likely heard someone say they’re good at multitasking or even consider yourself a great multitasker. Simply put, multitasking is the act of performing two or more tasks at the same time. However, this assertion is fundamentally flawed as the brain cannot entirely focus on two tasks simultaneously. What happens is that, during multitasking, the brain effectively switches from one task to the other with a big loss in productivity by as much as 40%. Instead of attempting to multitask, focus all your efforts on the “right” tasks done correctly to optimize performance.
Image courtesy of Zipboard
Why people multitask
Some people think they’re great at multitasking because they can, in fact, reduce productivity loss by moving more seamlessly between tasks. For example, Linda Pawlik Picardo, an actress, contractor, and custom jewelry pieces maker, has been successful in all those areas because of her ability to multitask efficiently. But most of us mere mortals cannot multitask efficiently and, instead, encounter some issues such as split focus, an inability to prioritize, and burnout.
A rather large body of research supports the inability of people to effectively multitask. Despite this evidence, people continue to multitask, with Millenials switching between platforms 27 times an hour, thus destroying their concentration. Even as I sat down to research and compose this post, I fought my normal tendency to check my email each time a new message appeared (of course,…