Multitasking has long been praised as a great thing. Well, we think it’s a bit of a curse – and let us tell you why.
When you’re multitasking you are not really giving anything your full attention. You are easily distracted and your tasks take longer to complete. And if nothing gets full attention, it’s not getting all of you. And are you at your best if you’re not tapping into all of you? We’d say probably not.
Yes, multitasking is an ineffective way to spend your time. And there’s plenty of research to prove it.
“A study by the University of London found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks, experienced an IQ score decline similar to those who have stayed up all night.
Some of the multitasking people had their IQ drop 15 points, leaving them with the average IQ of an 8-year-old child.”
And yet, we are sure we’re not the only ones who recognise scenarios such as these:
- Responding to emails while on a conference call – missing out on some key information that was shared at some point
- Checking text messages while listening to what the children did at school – not really hearing how their day has been
- Checking the phone while in meetings – sending the message to the other meeting participants that they are less important (even if not meaning to)
- Working on a presentation and getting distracted by the pinging sound of an email in the inbox, going to check the email and losing trail of thought on the presentation, having to spend more time than needed on it
It’s good to be able to multitask when needed – when a crisis hits, when a deadline looms – but to operate out of a multitasking mode all the time is to waste our capability away.