Congratulations Multi-taskers!

Congratulations on getting so much done! You rock! Can you teach me how to multitask?

Oh, wait a minute, I’m not interested in learning how to multitask. Think again if you believe that you are good at multitasking! Recently while working with “Polly”, a Type A, always busy, always moving entrepreneur, she commented: “It’s not unusual for me to be participating in a webinar, replying to comments and posts on Facebook, emailing and texting all at the same time.” Whoa . . . slow down!

multi-taskingInterestingly, I was working with her to get more control over her workload so that she could slow down and breathe. Polly admitted that she was burned out. Given her work habits, is anyone surprised? Plain and simple, multitasking is just plain bad, and here’s why:

  • Multi-taskers have more problems organizing their thoughts.
  • Multi-tasking makes it harder to filter out information that is not useful.
  • When you multi-task it is harder to move from one task to another, which means you are decreasing your efficiency.
  • Multi-taskers are not able to pay attention, remember information, or move from one job to another as well as others who follow one action at a time.
  • Multi-tasking leads to a feeling of being overwhelmed and to a lack of focus; both of which cause mistakes and oversights that can hurt you in the long run.
  • Brain damage due to multitasking is not temporary. At the University of Sussex, scientists found that when they compared the amount of time people spend on multiple devices (such as texting while watching TV) to MRI scans of their brains, those who pursue a lot of multi-tasking activities exhibited less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex, which is a region that encourages empathy as well as cognitive and emotional control.

The human brain is hardwired to focus only on one task at a time. Since the brain is not able to juggle multiple tasks, attempting to multi-task makes you slower and diminishes the quality of your work. It will bankrupt your concentration, organization, and attention to detail. Accept the fact that multi-tasking is counter-productive.