Minimalism and Your Money

The intersection of a simple, minimalist lifestyle & personal finance

Stop Multitasking!

Multitasking is Hard

Have you ever tried to get that paper done only to be distracted by social media or the television?

Have you burnt dinner because you were trying to pay bills and water the lawn at the same time?

Ever forgot multiple things at the grocery store because you were talking on the phone while shopping?

We’ve all been there. We have so much on our plates and so little time to do them. It seems natural, and productive, that we should try to do multiple things at once to catch up. But multitasking isn’t really the answer. Our productivity lies in our ability to focus on one object at a time. Additionally, we all would benefit from having more time. We need to stop multitasking to gain more productivity.

One Task at a Time

The problem is that when we burden ourselves with multitasking, we don’t do anything well.

Yes, our brains are capable of doing two (or more) things at once, but that doesn’t mean we do them well or in a productive manner. In fact, some studies now show that multitasking has a detrimental effect on our brains.

Want some proof? Put down your phone, tablet, let go of your mouse, etc. and pat your head over and over again. Easy, right? Now try to rub your belly. Piece of cake, right? I think you know where this is going. Combine the two and all of a sudden this becomes a difficult skill. Your daily tasks are no different.

via Gfycat

Stop Multitasking

Dedicate specific, uninterrupted time toward completing a task. Save the next task for whenever you finish the first. You will find that “single-tasking” will boost productivity.

Try to stop multitasking for a day or two and then reassess. See if you feel like you have accomplished more in those days than you had when you were attempting to multitask.

Did it work? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

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1 Comment

  1. I love how this post highlights the downsides of a trait that society is currently treating as a “core requisite” for most employee’s!

    A favourite book of mine that discusses our inability to effectively multitask is Flow. It dives deep into the science of why our brains aren’t actually doing multiple things at once, but switching from task to task, reducing our efficiency across the board.

    Your recommendation to focus on a singular task at a time is spot on. I personally used to think I was a great multi-tasker, but when I finally understood how detrimental it was, and made the switch to focussing on one thing at a time, I saw huge gains in what I was able to accomplish!

    Great post!

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