How to Multitask

How to Multitask

Aug 18, 2023

Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash

One common myth about multitasking is that it is possible to do multiple tasks simultaneously without decreasing performance. However, research has shown that the human brain is incapable of genuinely multitasking in the sense of performing multiple tasks simultaneously with equal attention and effort. Instead, the brain switches rapidly between tasks, decreasing productivity and increasing errors.

It is possible to perform multiple tasks concurrently, but this often requires dividing attention and effort between the tasks, which can decrease the quality of each task. In general, it is more efficient to focus on one task at a time and complete it before moving on to the next task. This is known as "single-tasking" or "serial tasking."

We pride ourselves on the ability to know how to multi-task. If not, we may be interested in learning how to multi-task and master the habit. If either of those statements resonated with you, make sure you keep reading.

Every day we are surrounded by a wealth of information and opportunities. We are often torn between interests and projects and may want to try them all at once. So, we want to multi-task or know how to multi-task because we want to avoid choosing. We want to do it all. We can, right?

How to Multitask

  • Spread out your energy among all the information, opportunities, interests, and projects available to the point of exhaustion and frustration.

  • Don't fully experience any of your interests – including relationships.

  • Make sure you're not giving your best and that we work distracted and stressed – prone to mistakes and oversight.

    • As your attention is pulled in many directions – life, advertising, media, and surroundings – make sure to turn your head at every opportunity.

  • Make sure we are close to the danger of burning out – because this is well the real pros thrive, right?

I’ve been slightly misleading until now, but bear with me here. I want us to thoroughly think about and understand why multi-tasking is a myth and seriously overrated. How do I know? Because I professed to be an avid multitasker at one time too.

Not to worry, I have some tangible takeaways.

  1. Focus all of your energy on one thing. It doesn’t have to be one thing forever, but it can be one thing at a time.

  2. Listen to yourselves. You can take time to focus on your thoughts and goals. The rest will fade away when we can identify the things that resonate the most strongly within us.

  3. Be fully present and experience it – whatever ‘it’ is – spouse, children, phone call, work, writing, reading a book, concert, movie, etc.

It’s okay if we have many aspects and interests, believe me, so do I, but focus on each moment. We will enjoy our lives more fully and be less distracted – and probably better at everything we take the time to do.

In summary, while it is possible to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, focusing on one task at a time is generally more efficient and effective.

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