We live in an era of what I want to call ‘unproductive busy’. And it’s sad that we’ve all blended well to a digital trend which our ancestors were lucky not to have met. I’m referring to social media and sophisticated internet-enabled devices. Multitasking is now the order of the day. One can barely focus on a serious issue in the office or at home without reaching for the phone to reply a text, view a photo, laugh at a meme or make a call. Let’s just say it’s now very difficult to do one thing at a time.
For real, I often find it difficult to eat lunch without handling my phone or doing something else as crazy as picking up my guitar to play a new song I learned.
At times when I felt I was running out of time and needed to do some tasks, I would do so many things at a time. I could juggle going through my school books for a test, dressing up for school and putting my room in order at the same time.
But guess what.
You got that right. I never beat time, neither was my room perfectly in order.
Multitasking is a deception. You never get things done right and perfectly. Multitasking is ‘unproductive busy’. It keeps you busy doing so many things, but not accomplishing much tangible stuff. It gives you quantity but not quality.
It isn’t just deceptive, it is detrimental to your health. Multitasking is energy sapping, it causes unnecessary stress, it causes short-term memory loss. You don’t expect to remember what was being said in class while you were checking your e-mails and playing Clash of Clans. Multitasking dulls the brain over time. So why multitask when we can get things done one at a time without going through all of these.
The truth is you can achieve utmost productivity when you do them one at a time, giving each task every concentration it needs.
Funny enough, you can’t truly multitask in its real sense. Your brain does not have the capacity to efficiently do that. One task must suffer as against the other.
If we can learn to concentrate on one thing at a time, we can gain the privilege of not just understanding what we are doing better but appreciating the goodness resident in everything that exists.
Also, we may not have noticed the bad effect of multitasking in our relationships. We often fail to realize that the cause of some relationship failures is multitasking. I presume you’re probably searching your memory bank to prove me wrong. But do you remember when you were in a conversation with someone but couldn’t recall any tangible point that was made because you were busy having a nice chat on the phone at the same time.
There’s more! I bet you remember how unsatisfied and unhappy you were when your date was replying his mail while in a conversation with you.
Now that you’ve been enlightened and know the truth, it’s time to make a change. Here are tips to help you quit multitasking:
First you have to discipline yourself to do one thing at time. It’s definitely not going to be an easy one, your system has to adjust to this change. Consciously eat without watching TV or texting. No matter how much you think you are running out of time, do not multitask because it will get things undone than get them done.
2. Time management
Lack of time management is one thing that makes people multitask at the dying-minute. Try to manage your time well. Set your priorities right. Create to-do lists and do well to follow them religiously.
Be fully involved in whatever task you undertake. Be in the moment, you will discover how creative you can be about it. Resist the temptation to multitask when it comes and refuse to be distracted, it just takes determination.
4. Knockout Distractions
If you have to switch off your phone or turn off your notifications to prevent distractions when carrying out a particular task, do so. Consciously work on taking away distractions.
The practice of doing one thing at a time is less stressful and productive. This year, put multitasking in your life’s trashcan and see how much you will get to achieve for the rest of the year.
Photo Credit: Live Science