Would you like to get more done in less time? Then quit multitasking!
Multitasking is working on diverse tasks simultaneously and, usually, doing them all half-heartedly: driving and talking on the phone; attending a webinar and responding to email; or writing a blog post and texting.
Research shows that only about 2.5% of college students can multitask effectively. Two point five percent!
Studies now show that multitasking is a myth. You simply can’t give your attention to more than one thing at a time.
Health magazine gives 12 reasons to kick the habit, including the insight that multitasking dampens your creativity: (link no longer available)“… multitaskers often find it harder to daydream and generate spontaneous ‘a ha moments’.”
Kick the Habit
To embrace single-tasking, take the first step and turn off your electronic notifications, which means no messages telling you that you have messages.
Let’s face it. You’re probably not sitting around doing nothing when your inbox beeps. You’re likely working on something else when the interruption occurs.
When you stop in the middle of something to look at an incoming email, you’re saying that whatever is in that email is a priority. This is rarely the case.
Responding to electronic interruptions is giving away your power and is the ultimate form of procrastination in contemporary life.
If you’re working on your business or enjoying your personal relationships, there is no reason to interrupt the moment. Almost everything except true emergencies can wait until you have completed what you are working on.
Close down the windows on your computer that you’re not focused on, move cell phones out of reach, and stop the multitasking. Concentrate on one task at a time.
Single-tasking is a commitment that takes practice, which means most people can’t go cold turkey.
You will improve over time.
Use a timer or a structured focusing tool such as the Pomodoro Technique to keep your eyes and head on your priorities.
Feel free to adopt one of my mantras if you find yourself flitting from this to that and screen to screen:
I do one thing at a time to completion.
Single-tasking is key for a higher level of productivity and a lower level of overwhelm.