Multi-Tasking – and why you shouldn’t do it

We would all like to think that we can multi-task, especially women, but is it really a good idea to juggle a few activities at once?  Are we really doing justice to any one of them?  Is there merit in focusing on one thing at a time?  Weren’t we told to do just that as a child? Focus.

For a brief moment, we will explore, which a huge bag of salt, why multi-tasking isn’t such a great idea, and how you can get just as much done without pretending that you are a clown with a couple of balls.

  1. Causes brain damage

This one was a little scary.  A test performed on a few folk in the UK, revealed that when taking part in multi tasks, such as texting and watching television, their MRI’s scans showed a definite decrease in brain density in the area responsible for emotion and cognitive control, as well as the empathy area.  So, don’t send that emotive, as its damaging your ability to express emotion.  (go figure!)

  1. Lowers your IQ level

Some smart fellows researched and found out that doing two or more activities at the same time lowers your IQ levels by as much as 15 points.  They even went as far as stating that your brain power was equivalent to that of a person smoking marijuana.  This makes one think twice about sending that email whilst chewing on an apple and checking Facebook.

  1. It slows you down

While the idea behind multi-tasking is to speed things up and get more done, the fact that you are not completely focused on any of the activities, actually renders you slower at all of them.  A test was conducted where candidates were split into groups.  A few were asked to take part in two or three tasks at once, whilst the others asked to complete the tasks one at a time.  The latter group finished first.

  1. You are prone to making mistakes more often

There is merit in focusing and focusing means giving attention to that one specific thing completely.  We all know that we can do things better if we pay more attention to it.  Even switching between very different tasks can cause you to lower your productivity level by 40%.  It is best, then, to complete one type of task, such as emailing, first, then move on to the next task, like speaking to a colleague about an important project.

  1. Stress levels are raised

There are many people that are just better at handling multiple tasks, but the general population will find it very stressful to know they have to tackle a few items on their to-do list at once.  Breaking it down into sections and giving yourself a time period to complete each one is better than trying to get them all done within, say an hour.  And, it is not the tasks themselves that are stressful, but rather the consequences in not finishing them.

  1. Memory issues

If someone is talking to you and you are looking at the rugby playing out on the television above their head, there is a chance that you will not remember all that they have told you.  That is, not only rude, but a waste of yours and their time.  It would be best, even if received with a “humph”, to ask them to hold their conversation for a minute whilst you check out the game.  Now, we are not saying this is PC, so don’t hold us to it if the person, say your girlfriend, gets all het up.

  1. You can put on weight

That sounds like an odd issue, right?  But, if you pair eating with another activity, you are more than likely to overeat, not realising that you are full.  Your brain will be trying to focus on the cell phone you have in your hand, rather than your digestive system.  It really takes only about 10 minutes to eat a standard sized meal, so give your brain a break and eat with no distractions.  The work will be there when you are done.

  1. Your creativity will be lacking

It makes sense, when creating something, to focus on it.  The one side of the brain that produces those creative juices, may not gel well with the side that is trying to work out what someone is saying to you.  You will find, that focusing on the project at hand, without a voice in your ear, or a television blasting behind you, will help you produce more creative work.

 

So, now that we have given you the low down on multi-tasking, please put turn the television off so you can read this again properly.

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