For today’s busy professionals, multitasking is an unspoken expectation in the workplace. And even when focus is encouraged, it can be difficult to ignore the constant notifications crossing our screens. While many pride themselves on their multitasking abilities, research overwhelmingly demonstrates that multitasking kills your productivity and focus.
It Harms Our Brain
Our brains (much to our dismay!) are not unlimited resources. Not only do you lose up to 40% of your daily productivity to the mental gymnastics of task switching, but you also train your brain to be chronically distracted and unable to focus. And thus perpetuates the vicious cycle… Yikes!
It also reduces your brain’s level of gray matter. Gray matter is correlated to controlling your emotions, motivations, and cognitive ability. Multitasking can be damaging a part of your brain is key to maintaining productivity- the exact goal you had in the first place!
Leads to Stress and Burnout
Because multitasking decreases your productivity, it’s easy to leave the workday feeling frazzled with many things unfinished. Those moments will continue to compound, leading to unbearable stress that feels endless. Also, your brain interprets short bursts of stimuli as stress responses, so attempting to multitask for extended periods will make you feel more stress and symptoms of burnout than if focusing on one task. Not exactly the optimal work situation.
Decreases Quality of Work
Here’s another unfortunate truth of task switching: Multitaskers make more mistakes than their counterparts who prioritize deep focus. Not only that, a multitasking employee is much less efficient than their colleague who works on one task at a time. Although you may feel more productive because tasks are finished more quickly, your work’s accuracy and quality will suffer.
You Lose Track of What’s a Priority
For some, jumping from meeting to meeting may feel like a lot is getting done. The reality is that by switching from one mindset to another that quickly, you lose the ability to give any meeting or project your fullest capacity. If you don’t allow yourself to focus on the most critical tasks, you can lose sight of what assignments need to be worked on and completed.
Creativity Is Thrown Out The Window
Often inherent to great creative work is the ability to focus. The mental exhaustion of multitasking — whether physically felt or not — directly hinders you from doing your best and most creative work. Because creativity requires deep concentration, the fatigue from multitasking can make thinking outside the box simply unattainable.
A crucial step to recovering from chronic multitasking is developing a laser focus and clearly delineated schedule. Perhaps that looks like removing some projects and tasks. Marketing is time-consuming and can be a lot to take on. Contact the Muses to take over your digital marketing needs so you can focus on your business with fewer interruptions and prioritize your mental health.