Written by Foo Mei Ling
Ever seen drivers’ texting while driving? Parents on email, while seemingly spending time with their kids? How about working in front of the TV?
Let’s face it, we try to do more things in a single moment, believing that we can either save time, be faster, or have less work at the end of the day.
Yet, each day we start with the leftovers of yesterday’s list. We add onto this, today’s to-dos.
Over coffee, we catch up on social media whilst juggling new emails and a couple of phone calls. There are new projects to manage, meetings and discussions and several interruptions both wanted and unwanted. Then there’s lunch break and some moments of procrastination before we eventually call it a day!
It was a day abuzz with activities but minimal productivity. Perhaps it's time to put a stop to it and here's 3 reason why it may be a good idea:
1. Multitasking is a bad habit
The positive vibe of being active makes us prone to multitask again and again. This creates a bad habit from students to professionals to keep switching tasks and to juggle busyness and activities. After all, everyone does it too. This subtle observation in our brains, enforces the habit even more into lives.
2. Multitasking is unproductive
We struggle to juggle yet we allow interruptions and distractions in our activities. Alas, the more we juggle, the less we can focus. Distractions cause our brains to work harder and so we look for short cuts to complete our activities.
3. Multitasking reduces quality
With ever increasing activities and demands from multitasking, we find ways to cut corners to complete more work faster. We cheat on quality. What’s worse, in haste, we lose the ability to make better connections, the joining of dots, ideas, research and data that come from focusing on one activity at a time.
So now we see it: It impairs us, yet we are drawn to it. Sometimes it’s merely a distraction, and at worst, it draws us away from what is truly important.
For now, at least know that multitasking works against us, not for us.
Foo Mei Ling is the co-founder of PositiveLinks with over 15 years of in-depth experience in consulting, focusing on corporate finance, strategy development, market entry and feasibility studies, corporate restructuring and implementation of special projects working for the likes of Arthur Andersen and HP.
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