Multitasking is one of the most insidious problems that society faces in general. It’s a bad habit that has many negative repercussions. To make things worse, people falsely believe that they’re more effective and productive when they multitask.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Countless deaths and accidents have taken place because people were engaged in multitasking activities. Trying to text and drive, or eat and drive, or watching a child while trying to have a conversation on the phone has led to many heartbreaking mishaps.
All these are examples of multitasking gone wrong.
In this article, we’ll see why it’s better to focus on one task at a time rather than multitask. The best way to get organized will be to write down all your tasks for the day on a piece of paper. Then arrange them by order of urgency and importance. Get the most urgent tasks done first, then the important ones and then all the rest.
The myth of multitasking
A common mistake that people make is to try and do several tasks at once. Or they try to finish off the smaller less important tasks firsts and later they panic and scramble to get the more urgent ones done and so on. It’s becomes a monumental multitasking mess of massive proportions.
Focus is the answer.
Doing more than one task at a time is not ideal. Doing too many tasks rapidly in succession leads to errors. Switching back and forth between tasks leaves you confused and frustrated.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re doing more.
The beauty of focus
If you studied the assembly lines in factories, you’d realize that speed and efficiency was achieved by making workers do the same task over and over without any multitasking.
The process becomes automatic and almost mindless as they’re singularly focused on their work. The worker is in a ‘zone’ and gets the most work done in the most efficient way possible.
You should bring this same level of focus into your life. If you’re answering emails, focus on that and forget about taking a break halfway to go sort the filing cabinet. Finish on answering the emails first! Then you can embark on the next task.
How does a focus list help?
With a focus list, you’ll not even need to break focus to think about what to do next. Finished one task? Good. Look at the next one on the list and carry on.
You’re in the zone and functioning optimally.
So, how does this detox your mind?
Simple. It reduces stress and confusion. You mind gets ‘toxic’ when it is stressed out and in a constant state of panic. When it has to keep flitting between tasks and rearranging the thought processes to manage the task, the mind gets overwhelmed and tired.
This is one reason why so many people are mentally drained but not productive, while the top achievers seem to do so much more but are less frazzled. It all comes down to focus.
So, plan your day out on paper, focus on one task at a time and remember that how you do anything is how you do everything.
Over time, your mind will be sharper and you’ll be much more effective at everything you do.