Have you ever tried to listen to a television show and read the scroll across the bottom of your TV, doing both at the same time?

It’s not doable because you are using different parts of your brain, one to listen, the other to read.

You are attempting to multi-task, which is a misnomer because your brain can only do one thing at a time successfully. When you attempt to speak on the phone and make a cup of coffee, one of these tasks will suffer. Your coffee may not turn out as you like and your telephone conversation will be incomplete and ineffective.

I was on the phone myself last week and attempting to make dinner at the same time. Chopping, braising, sautéing, etc. The process was so stressful I had to throw away the food. The food was OK, yet every time I went to taste the food, the contents of the seemingly ineffective phone call interfered. And I was hungry! Next time, I will plan better. And so can you, plan better, that is.

Whether you are a multitasker in training or not, know that multitasking is not good for you. The tasks you think you are completing thoroughly are not actually finished as well as you would like.

Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you attempt to multitask, your brain lacks the capability to complete both tasks successfully. The multitasker goes from one thing to another which leaves room for distraction and mental hurdles.

Switching from one task to another takes time and focus away from what you want to accomplish.

Multitasking can slow you down and affect the quality of your work. Switching from task to task slows you down as opposed to completing one task and then going to another task. If you are addicted to multitasking, it is best to keep things simple and attempt to multitask a maximum of two things at a time, if at all.

Multitasking can slow down your concentration and impede your attention to detail. Multitasking affects your brain and not in a positive way you might think. Heavy multitaskers’ brains have been measured and determined that even when you focus on a single task, your brain will be less efficient.

You might say that you can listen to music and eat and at the same time. Listening to music is not a task. We mostly eat by habit. Multitasking in meetings shows low self-awareness which is vital to your business.

For me, whenever I am writing and I am distracted by another thought about an uncompleted task, it takes a bit of energy to get back to writing. I am stopping multitasking right now; at least I’m working on it!

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Joanne Victoria