In my last post, Increasing Your Focus for Better Writing Productivity, I discussed the importance of being focused and how successful people know it’s the key to being productive (and successful.)
Today, I want to talk about why you should avoid multitasking.
Multitasking is overrated!
If you’re like many people you spend most days multitasking. You’re probably so used to multitasking that you don’t even realize when you’re doing it. After all, it’s a skill many employers look for in their employees. Many people believe multitasking saves them time. There are many reasons why multitasking is bad. It’s better to focus on the task at hand.
Maybe you think focusing on one task at a time is boring, so you prefer to work on several. Well, here’s some reasons why multitasking is bad.
You have to switch from task to task. This takes time for your mind to change into the right mindset for the new task. You have to take the time to remember where you left off. Can you say, time wasted?
- Multitasking leads to attention and memory loss. According to a study by Harvard Professor Clifford Nass, in findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, people who use online social media and other forms of electronic communications have trouble focusing their attention and have lower scores on memory tests.
- Cognitive performance is diminished. A recent study by Zheng Wang, a professor at Ohio State University, showed that multitasking caused students to feel more productive, but showed they were actually reducing their cognitive skills abilities such as studying.
- It turns people off when you are interacting with them. People who multitask often find themselves coming in contact with others. If you only half pay attention to them, answering texts and phone calls while talking to them, you will lose their respect.
- Multitaskers lose productivity. Switching between tasks is counter-productive. You lose time and concentration every time you switch to a different task.
- Multitaskers are less likely to finish one quality project. They may finish all their tasks for the day, but they will most likely be sub-par than if they had focused solely on one to completion.
Multitasking makes it difficult to focus entirely on each task you are doing. Look at it this way; you’re thinking about emails you have to respond to while writing a report, the phone calls you need to return. All of this while thinking about the next task on your to-do list. This type of working environment doesn’t do anything except cause you stress. Instead of multitasking among several tasks, you should prioritize your tasks and break them up into workable time chunks. Make a time schedule for each task and set a timer.
This is a 6-part series which includes these articles. (Note: live articles will have a link.)
Part 1: Increasing Your Focus for Better Writing Productivity
Part 2: Multitasking Does Not Help Writer Productivity (You’re here.)
Part 3: Tips to Improve Focus for Better Writer Productivity
Part 4: Strategies to Improve Writer Focus & Productivity
Part 5: Exercises to Improve Focus & Productivity