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Why Multitasking May Not Really Be the Best Strategy

We have all learned to do things in the most effective way possible, and oftentimes, we think that way might be with multitasking. We think that, if we can get two or three things done at the same or at about the same time, our days would be much easier, right? Well, the truth is, multitasking isn’t for everyone — or for just any project; you may actually be spending more time doing these things at once than you would if you did it all one at a time.

Multitasking isn’t really what it’s called; it’s a basic task-switch. You’re not really getting anything done because you keep switching from one task to another. Have you ever watched a toddler go from building a block castle to coloring a single page from a coloring book? When they switch off from task to task, neither gets done right away, or the way they want it. Or maybe you’ve noticed that it takes longer while driving to your destination while on the phone, rather than not? That’s because your brain is split between two different — and important — things, when the tasks really deserve your undivided attention. What will get things done faster, though, is doing things in batches. For example: send out all your emails at once, write your reports one after another, etc. Your brain gets super-focused on the task at hand and you fly right through everything.

Not only is it a total time-waster, but with the more projects or tasks you take on, the more mistakes you’ll make, especially when you’re doing something important that involves critical thinking. People can lose up to 40% productivity when they choose to task-switch, and honestly, that doesn’t sound worth the time you think you might be saving.

It’s also incredibly stressful! Have you noticed that the terms “busybody” and “hectic” always seem to coexist alongside individuals who try an multitask? That’s because it’s true! When you’re busy doing all sorts of things at once, your body jumps into an anxiety-driven panic, and your heart rate is stuck at a racing speed. So, by the end of the day, you’re exhausted, and have no energy for any other activities outside of work.

While we think that multitasking is a great way to get things done and have more time in the day, it’s more trouble than it’s worth; your work isn’t as neat, your body is tired, and your mind wants to shut down by the end of the day. So, take your time, work on one task before turning to another, and enjoy what you’re doing!

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