If work isn’t busy enough, throw life on top of that, and how do you get everything done? One temptation is to do too much at once. But the question becomes, is multi-tasking really helping, or are there downsides that make splitting our attention a fruitless endeavor. Here are five reasons why we should put multi-tasking aside and do things one at a time.
1. Multi-Tasking actually slows you down.
Here is an example. It takes longer to drive to your destination if you spend time constantly fiddling with the radio. Likewise, being distracted by a small task while working on a big task will eat up more time than you’re saving. To avoid multi-tasking downsides like this, focus on what you’re doing and fulfill your responsibilities one at a time.
2. Multi-Tasking results in more mistakes
This is simply a fact of life. If your mind is divided and distracted between several tasks, your mistakes will multiply. For many of us, we can’t afford to make those mistakes. To avoid costly mistakes, give each activity your full attention separately.
3. Multi-Tasking inhibits your creativity
If you dedicate your attention to too many tasks at once, you won’t have enough working memory left to think up things that are truly creative. What happens is you get assignments done in an assembly line fashion. You end up just getting it done, and rarely rise above satisfactory.
4. Multi-Tasking causes anxiety
This is one downside of multi-tasking I often struggle with. When you have too many things going on at once, you start feeling unsettled. The University of California, Irvine, did a test that measured the heart rates of employees with and without access to office email. Those with access to their emails remained wired up, with higher heart rates, whereas those without it were comparatively stress-free.
5. Multi-Tasking keeps you from really living
Last but not least, is the fact that multi-tasking often keeps us from focusing on what’s important and in front of us. If you’re playing with your phone the entire day instead of interacting or just enjoying your surroundings, you’re not truly living. We get caught up in technology and forget to actually participate in society. If this sounds like something you do, maybe it’s time to change your ways!