The Big, Hairy, Stinky Myth of Multitasking: It’ll Kill Your Productivity

The Big, Hairy, Stinky Myth of Multitasking It'll Kill Your Productivity

Today, I’ll demonstrate how you can complete nothing in 17 simple, quick steps. (Or one massive jumble of frantic activities.)

I’ve always believed that this type of work is entirely useless. Not even pointless in the slightest. It’s actually harmful and counterproductive to all you do.

I listened to a program that was on Radio 4 about it, and it supported me in this. Neuroscience is to my side.

What am I talking about?

The Grand Myth of Multitasking.

Multitasking is elephant pee.

The reason elephants are multitasking.

But even in the event that you don’t know absolutely, I’m betting you’re pretty sure you know that it.

There are many instances of people driving and texting simultaneously and texting while driving and almost crashing, to be more precise.

She was also walking and texting. I might or may not have walked past an unlit lamppost while texting and failed to walk.

There’s always someone who claims they’re great at multitasking!

It’s funny because one thing our brains excel at is self-delusion.

We’re masters at it. We are able to literally alter reality in our minds, accept the new reality and then fully believe that it is true. This is why many people believe in such ridiculous things (that we have never put an astronaut to the moon, for instance, or that vaccinations trigger autism or that homoeopathy is adequate).

Our brains are amazing. However, they are not as powerful…

The rewriting of reality here is impressive in its unique way. It’s a fantastic display of the fantastic things our brains can do.

However, there’s one thing it’s not capable of doing, and that’s the ability to concentrate on multiple things at a time.

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The concept of multitasking… as the tooth fairy. It’s an untruth, simple and straightforward.

This is supported by neuroscientific evidence. Up.

Our brains can’t concentrate upon more than one subject at a single time. Yes, we can move and breathe and everything else that is controlled by our brain’s unconscious system, but our brains aren’t able to concentrate upon more than one task at a time.

You can compose an article whilst watching television.

We can have an argument while driving.

What actually occurs is that we shift between tasks very quickly. This article that we’re writing receives some time to be noticed, and then an email appears, we’re making a cup of tea, and then we look at a message that appears…

If you’re not focused, then you’re likely to make mistakes.

I was talking while driving is an excellent illustration. I remember talking with my mom via the phone – hands-free – as I was driving home. It took me a few minutes before I realized that I was heading in an unintentional direction.

Because my focus was on my conversation and not on what I had been doing, my mind slipped back into an old habit and began going to work instead.

A study in 2003 that was released in The International Journal of Information Management discovered that the majority of people check their emails once every five minutes, and it takes 64 seconds to complete an earlier task.

That means that email alone is one of every six minutes for the majority of us. That’s staggering. I’m staggered.

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The best method of getting only a few things accomplished is to operate with continuous interruptions. If you’re in doubt, I suggest you test this simple exercise that I discovered in the Psychology Today blog in an article titled The Myth of Multitasking.

Let’s find out how skilled you are at multitasking.

Try it. Let me know how you did:

Draw two diagonal lines onto a page of the paper.
Find someone who can track you as you perform the two following tasks:
On the first line, write”I’m a superb multitasker
On line 2, write down the numbers 1-20 consecutively (1 2 3 4 5, etc. 19 20)
What was the time it would take to complete both of these tasks? (Probably approximately twenty seconds.)

Let’s see if we can multitask.

Draw the lines over and over again. Have someone take your time. Repeat the process. However, this time, you create a letter along one side and another number followed by your next word on the top line and the next one below and on. until you’ve finished.

How long was that for you?

I’m betting my most loved cap took more than double the time if you managed to finish it all (I didn’t, I was so frustrated).

It happens each time you attempt to accomplish more than one task at once. You simply lose time.

If we operate this way, it’s inefficient. We make more mistakes and eventually are exhausted.

I’m as guilty of this as everyone else. Sometimes, focusing on one aspect can be challenging.

How can you beat the blues of time and do more work?

However, it’s worthwhile to establish rules for yourself and remind you to adhere to them because you’ll accomplish more – significantly – when you take steps similar to the one I’m about to share with you.

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Switch off your email. Put your phone on silent. Review Your Do List. Choose a project. Find everything you need, such as the tea you drink or an ice cube or whatever.

Then set a timer to a concise amount of time – I usually recommend 45 minutes. Simply get going.

You can try a variety of lengths of time. Forty-five minutes is my preferred time. I think that’s the longest you can focus on for a long time before needing breaks. You could begin at 10 minutes. Or 20.

You could even take 5 minutes or even 1 minute if you really have a hard time. Whatever.

Do your best for the time, and then you can take an opportunity to rest. Recognize yourself. Have an iced tea and take a stroll in nature’s fresh air. Take 10 minutes to read an ebook and listen to your favourite music.

Whatever it could be, it liberates you from this task.

If you absolutely have to, you should make sure you check your email and phone. However, I would recommend checking them at least three times per day and addressing any issues that pop up.

After this, set the timer to run for another 45 minutes and continue.

You’ll be able to accomplish more and be more efficient. You’ll also make fewer errors and feel less exhausted.

And I’m betting my most loved socks you’ll be amazed by the amount of work you accomplish.