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Multi-tasking Isn't That Effective as You May Think

Updated on July 20, 2017

Time management experts support multi-tasking; however, in the long run it is inefficient, unsuccessful and exceedingly stressful.

Multi-tasking and Stress

Time management specialists have been promoting multi-tasking as a way to amplify productivity, however, research and clinical studies demonstrate that it can do more harm than good. Studies have shown that multi-taskers experience difficulty concentrating on key and complicated jobs, memory impairment, trouble learning new things, and increased stress levels.

Multi-tasking is linked inextricably with a competitive and belligerent driving force. People are of the opinion that if they get more done in less time, they are smarter, more proficient and more successful.

You may achieve a lot in a lesser amount of time, but then there is a possibility that you aren’t really focussing on anything as you should.

The quality of work and your life, consequently suffer. Learn to focus on one task at a time and give it all your loving attention.

Slow Down: Focus on One Task at A Time

Know How Multi-tasking Can affect You Adversely

  • You need to get it touch with the adverse effects of multi-tasking and positive benefits of working mindfully on one job at a time.
    • When you multi-task you quickly lose focus on important tasks, and this results in the loss of creativity, resourcefulness and innovation.
    • Our brain can process only one or two tasks at the same time effectively. When you try to juggle two or more jobs of the same scale, the brain’s normal response is to slow down.
  • Multi-tasking greatly impairs memory and recall capacity.
  • Multi-tasking also has grave negative physical effects on our body, in addition to the undesirable cognitive effect. Multi-taskers will see a bigger release of stress hormones in the body. A vicious cycle of continuous multi-tasking, needing more time to finish all your jobs, high levels of stress, and multi-tasking even more to compensate, sets in; with disastrous effects. This will make you physically and mentally ill and will reduce your overall work productivity.

Fit in A 'White Space' in to Your Daily To-Do List

Therapeutic Technique to Slow Down and Focus on One Task

Do this meditation regularly and especially when you are feeling stressed out and all wound up as a result of multi-tasking.

  • Pick a job that you have to get done – cooking, laundry or filing your documents. Now do two jobs at the same time; if at home cook dinner as well as watch the television. If at work type your document whilst making a business call. If you are a multi-tasker, ask yourself why do you do it?
  • Now write down how you performed your tasks and how you felt during and after.
  • The next day, do the same tasks again; only this time concentrate and focus on one job exclusively. Now write down how you accomplished your jobs and how you felt during and after the tasks.
  • While meditating, recall all that you wrote down and how you felt while multitasking. Stay with your feeling for a couple of minutes. Now recall how you felt when you did your jobs mindfully and peacefully when you devoted your complete attention to a particular task. Stay with this feeling for a few minutes.
  • With constant practice and time, you feel perceive that you are getting your work done better and precisely; you will feel calmer, relaxed and more centred in your body and in your life.

This mediation practice helps you battle stress effectively; it helps you calm down whilst working. It prevents mistakes and accidents and most importantly, it helps you stay in the present moment.

Concentrating Completely on One Task Will Make You Happier and Successful at Your Work Place

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    • lsmith131 profile image

      Lanecia Smith 3 months ago from Ohio

      Great article drshwetaushah. I have a hard time focusing on only one thing at a time, since I am always trying to multi-task. I find that focusing on more than one thing at a time causes me to be more stressed than normal. Today's society places a lot of pressure on getting things done quickly. I guess when we multi-task we may feel as if they are getting more done, but it only just makes things more complicated. Thank you for the great tips!