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Jul 16, 2019

Multitasking is a type of mental juggling where you constantly switch from one task to another. Many people claim multitasking can make you more efficient at time management, however research shows that splitting your attention between two tasks may be detrimental to the overall quality of your work, leading to an increase in mistakes and a decrease in productivity.[1]

Constant stress and conflicting priorities can make it hard to avoid multitasking, but according to research our brains were not actually designed for heavy duty multitasking.[2] When we switch tasks, it actually takes more time for our brains to refocus on a different task. Thus, while multitasking may make it seem as though you’re accomplishing more, it may actually require more time than if you focused your attention on one task at a time. Multitasking may also result in higher error rates and lack of accuracy.

To help you utilise your time more efficiently, try the following:
– Create a list of your most pressing tasks and prioritise them in order from least important to most important so you can dedicate the appropriate amount of time to each.
– Avoid distractions like listening to music or scrolling on your phone as these can turn into never-ending blackholes leading to procrastination. Use apps or settings on your phone to block certain apps for a set time period.
– Figure out what time of day is best for your brain to do its most productive work (such as early morning or late evening). Figure out what works for you and make the most of your best-performing timeframes.

[1] Michigan State University. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/the_myth_of_multitasking_research_says_it_makes_us_less_productive_and_incr
[2] American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/research/action/multitask

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