Issue 6 of Collection: Work Smart
If we could choose one lesson that have helped us the most it would be today's lesson. Written by the psychologist Alexander Rozental whose work been mentioned on CNN, The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal. To name a few.
We’ve already discussed the importance of not expending our resources in order to manage a full day’s work. Your ability to concentrate is, as we’ve said, a “muscle” that gets more tired the more you use it. Now, let’s zoom in on a term that’s all too familiar for most of us: multitasking.
Multitasking, to put it simply, is rarely a good idea. Even though this behavior is widespread and often requested by employers, there is now a considerable body of research indicating that it has a negative effect on our productivity. Intuitively it may seem like a clever way of getting several things done at once, but studies show that the outcome rather is the opposite - by trying to focus on different tasks at once, it takes a longer time to finish them than if we’d tackled them separately.
Despite the negative effects of multitasking it is a behavior that most people engage in. When our brains experience a rapid influx of information it perceives that information as important to process, leading to an increased discharge of the neurotransmitter dopamine as a reward for our constant shifting of focus. As we’re surrounded by an increasing amount of distractions, this can have a devastating effect on our possibilities of getting things done, as well as our mental well-being. Thus, breaking the multitasking habit is a simple but important strategy for minimizing procrastination as well as making sure we stay healthy at work.
Discuss multitasking with a co-worker
You’ve now learned a few things about multitasking and how it can affect your work. Today I want you to discuss this phenomenon with a co-worker, for example over lunch or a coffee, to get his or her perspective on multitasking.
Did you like this lesson? Check out the entire course here!