Everyone has heard the story that they are meant to be able to multitask; that it’s a good thing and that women, especially, should be able to do it without even thinking about it. However, that story is just that – a story. It’s a myth. There are many reasons why multitasking is a bad idea, so it’s important to stop and focus. Here are just some of the many problems with multitasking.
It’s Not Actually Multitasking
What you might think of as multitasking isn’t multitasking at all – that’s a very rare ability indeed. What you’re doing instead is task switching which is a very different thing altogether. Our brains only have a limited amount of space in which to focus, and that means that they really can only concentrate on one task at a time. Think about when you are watching TV and playing with your cell phone. You might think you’re taking everything in that’s happening, but when you look up from the small screen to the big one, you’ll soon see that you missed a lot of the show that was on. It’s because multitasking is pretty much impossible. Whatever you’re working on at that moment is your prime focus. That focus can switch, but it can never be shared.
It’s Making You Slow
Although the idea is that doing a lot of different tasks at once is supposed to save you time, it’s just slowing you down. It is much more likely that it will take you longer to accomplish two projects that you’re taking on at the same time than it would if you were doing one at a time. The best way to do things if you want to save time and you’ve got a lot on is to work in batches. Once you’re working on one thing, you’ll be in the zone, and you’ll be able to finish it quickly before heading on to the next.
It’s Causing Errors
Switching between tasks can cause you to make more errors than if you were concentrating on just the one job. You might get the two (or more) tasks mixed up, for example, and accidentally input data from one into the other. Then, of course, you’ll have to go back and fix it all, taking you twice as long – assuming you caught the mistakes in the first place. If you don’t spot them, then the incorrect work will make you look unprofessional. Sometimes those errors can be dangerous. When walking and texting you might not look when you cross the street. When making a cup of coffee and holding your baby, you might accidentally scald them because parents only have two hands. This is where a baby lounger can be useful, and you can find out about which one is best at parent.guide. Or, when you are driving and eating, you might not be looking at the road.
It’s Making You Stressed
Trying to do too much at once is bad for your health; it makes you more stressed about the work and that means your blood pressure will be higher and your heart rate will increase. None of this is good for you long term. So a little spot of ‘multitasking’ (although we now know that’s not what it is at all) is all right (although not recommended), but doing it long-term is definitely a bad idea.