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In the past I loved multi-tasking. The more I had going on at the same time, the happier I was, the more productive I felt , and my satisfaction level was high – because I thought I was getting things done faster and more efficiently. After leaving corporate employment, I began doing research on the true efficiency of multi-tasking. Here is what I found out. I was wrong! How could that be? Multi-tasking doesn’t make me more efficient? Switching between 2 or 3 or 4 things (emailing, while talking on the phone while listening to another conversation) isn’t truly productive? Delusion – the art of telling ourselves one thing when reality is another was rampant in my life. I came by it honestly – I truly thought that my multitasking made me and my company more productive.
Here is what research has proven:
- The mind cannot truly multitask. What the mind does is actually switch from one area of focus to another – very quickly, but it doesn’t do two things at once.
- Your productivity, and especially quality, goes down significantly when you multi-task.
- It takes around 10 minutes for your mind to refocus if you are working on a problem, get interrupted then need to refocus back to the same level of concentration. No wonder productivity is slipping for many people.
Here is a video I recommend you watch – see how you do on his quiz. It might just change how you work and increase your productivity!
Myth of Multi-tasking Video