If it would have been in my hands, then I would have banned the concept of multitasking. Seriously, it is the most over-rated and highly unproductive technique one can ever use. I am not saying it to make a statement. I have experienced it enough to understand that it leads to nothing but stress and headache.
Still not convinced, are you? Well, let me present my case why I think that multitasking should be banned.
- You get nothing done. It may sound weird since multitasking itself implies getting more done within less amount of time. It is possible in theory and not in reality because of the human brain, the most complex organ. While multitasking, you permit your brain to think about other items that are pending on the list. It distracts you from the job in hand, and this keeps you only thinking about how much work is left undone. As a result, you get nothing done.
- Your mind is all over the place and that is not a good feeling. One does not feel at ease when they are handling too many tasks at the same time. Your mind is continuously worrying about the pending work, and this leaves you mentally exhausted and irritated.
- It takes a heavy toll on your productivity. Scientific studies have concluded that multitasking makes people almost 40% less productive as compared to people who focus on a single task at a time. The reason: when people switch from one task to another, it takes them more time to focus and re-introduce themselves with the point where they left. The switching happens repeatedly, and it negatively impacts the overall work productivity.
- Multitasking impacts your work quality. People who focus on one task and finish it in one-go deliver better results as compared to the people who try to close four-five chores at a time. The reason is the focus. Multitasking stops you from giving whole-hearted efforts because your aim is only to finish the work fast, which is not the case while you are giving your undivided attention to one task only.
- It makes the task monotonous. And sometimes, unachievable. Imagine I give you a task to finish and keep giving it back to you with multiple changes. The excitement you had towards it for the first time will disappear into thin air. The same happens when you are multitasking. It is impossible to finish the task in one go; you handle it four to five times, and this takes away the excitement.
- You miss the deep-dive advantage. When you work on a particular task with focus, you think about it in an elaborate manner, assess all possible combinations, and evaluate the best option before deciding on a solution/completing it. Working on a task for this long helps achieve a point where you are literally in a deep-dive, that is – at the deepest possible complexity totally surrounding the task – which ultimately helps yield the simplest, bulls-eye, and best way to accomplish it. You don’t get to do this when you shuffling sporadically on a variety of tasks.
- You miss out on eureka moments. Multitasking takes up a lot of your temporary brain storage, also known as the working memory. When all the working memory is exhausted, it affects your ability to think creatively. Modern-day problems require creative solutions, and multitasking kills your spontaneous thinking, aka the eureka moments.
What you are doing is not multitasking. It is task-switching.
Yes, it may sound harsh or even rude but that is the reality. You are just jumping from one task to the other and not giving your undivided attention to one. It reduces productivity, drains you mentally, boosts anxiety, and kills motivation.
To people who still want to multitask.
- A shortlist will help. Instead of stacking up your plate, limit the number of tasks to a maximum of two or three. A small to-do list will be easy to achieve as compared to a larger one.
- Rely on the 20-minute rule. This rule helps overcome the multitasking drawback i.e. lack of concentration. Devote yourself to one task out of the list for 20-minutes without any interruption. It will help you achieve more fruitful results, instead of jumping from one task to another like a lost puppy.