Millennials always pride themselves about doing so many things all at the same time – multitasking is the new cool. For a generation which drowned so deep into technology, concentrating on one job at a time isn’t an option. But multitasking may not be as productive as you think.
Multitasking can work only when the most of the jobs are secondary in nature, like listening to music (instrumental) or chewing a gum, where you don’t have to apply much attention. But you cannot type an article and listen to a song with lyrics at the same time, because both these tasks activate the same part of the brain so it is difficult to concentrate on both the jobs. So for all the multitaskers out there, I hate to burst your bubble, but what you call multitasking is actually you switching form one job to another. Multitasking is a myth – you are actually taking more time completing the tasks.
There are actual research results that prove that multitasking is actually inefficient and ineffective. When you are switching between tasks, your brain has to concentrate over the new task right from the start, and this transfer or transition of concentration isn’t exactly very smooth. The concentration lag causes delay in focusing on the task at hand. Your attention is getting distributed. So, while you think you are saving time by doing so many things at the same time, you are actually wasting more time trying to get your mind to focus. Every time we switch between tasks, the brain is forced to restart and refocus, and we lose time in the process.
Now, since you are not able to completely focus on the current task, because of which you tend to make more mistakes on your job. You may not take care of small details and quality is compromised as a result.
So, instead of listening to your friend talk while you are going through your mail box, it is better to shift towards one job at a time schedule. Managing time is the solution to a hectic work-life schedule. Start by designing yourself a proper timetable that involves all your daily activities, with a approximation of the time taken for each task.
Because when life gives you a single lemon, you don’t make lemonade and use it for your face-pack at the same time. You cut it into two pieces and use it one at a time for each task.