Why you need to stop multitasking!
While frantic juggling can feel like a badge of honour for busy women, learning to focus on one job at a time will make you more productive, says sharon Walker
ditch the juggling, be more productive
We women pride ourselves on our ability to juggle.
It’s what we do. We’ve honed our multitasking muscles through years, if not decades, of keeping all those balls in the air. When was the last time you cooked dinner without breaking off to check on your children’s homework? Even when we’re relaxing with an episode of our favourite TV show we use this moment of downtime to catch up on social media. It’s all water off a duck’s back to us, this constant flipping back and forth. But at what cost?
We’ve been led to believe that juggling is the most efficient – if not only – way to manage the multiple strands of our lives. But experts are now claiming that, far from being the ultimate weapon in the arsenal of the overstretched, multitasking is not only adding to our anxiety but is actually making us less efficient. “Multitasking is exhausting,” says psychologist Tony Crabbe. “In reality we’re not doing several things at once, but switching rapidly between tasks, which uses up brainpower. When we race from task to task we don’t do things as well, or efficiently.” This is backed by research by Michigan University, which suggests that jumping between just two tasks increases the time it takes to complete both by 40%. researchers at Stanford University compared people who multitasked a lot to those who finished tasks one after the other. The result? The heavy multitaskers were more easily distracted.
So how else should we manage this constant need to be “on”?