[message type=”custom”]Originally published on Natural Write, this post (with some very minor changes) is being republished here at the request of my very dear friend and desi sister, Jen.[/message]
I read or heard about a study recently which showed that multitasking does more damage to brain function than smoking cocaine. I cannot seem to find that study to cite, probably because I was talking on the phone while searching Google, but I’ve no doubt it’s true.
Multitasking became a household word during the 1980s when personal computers became commonplace. These new PCs ran on operating systems that were designed to run more than one program at a time, to multitask.
Suddenly everyone thought it’d be cool to be a multitasker too.
I can admit it. I was once a project manager who prided herself on her leet multitasking skills. Don’t judge, it was the 90s. You weren’t cool unless you were snorting cocaine whilst getting a manicure and making a conference call to your stock broker to tell him what’s what.
Cool? Not-so-much. The truth is, multitasking not only impairs your brain function at the time of said tasks, it can cause permanent and long term difficulty in concentration and learning.
It is reported that our children are such talented multitaskers they are able to consume 8 1/2 hours of media time in 6 1/2 hours of actual media usage. Perhaps the ADD epidemic’s answer lies not in amphetamines but in media/multitasking control.
There is no longer any doubt that humans are not wired for multitasking. When we attempt it, each task takes us longer to do and is performed with much less accuracy.
It’s one thing to send an email to the wrong recipient because you were also watching the evening news. It’s quite another thing to drive your SUV into a school bus because you were also sending a text message.
Today, as I adjust to life as a solopreneur, I have come to realize that there is no better approach to any task than sheer focus.
If not for focus and actively preventing myself from attempting anything remotely resembling multitasking, I would have no business of which to speak.
Are you an avid multitasker? What do you do to unwind and help you focus?