Are you reading this on your phone? While you shop on your iPad? As you watch a Netflix? While at a location outside of your house? Then you are, as most of us are these days, multitasking.
While researching time management for a presentation I am working on, I came across some incredible information on multitasking. Multitasking has become the norm for all of us with the smart phones, tablets, and computers. But, this high tech world may actually be hurting us and affecting everything from our concentration levels to aging.
Ask yourself these questions to see if multitasking may be a problem for you:
- Does your calendar manage you? Do you work on a file because something is due next week, or you have a meeting coming up?
- Do you manage daily activities in such a way that you schedule time slots for consulting with new clients? Growing your business is a proactive set of activities that need planning and scheduling.
- Do you review each day what you must do, should do, and shouldn’t do? Sometimes theshouldn’t dos are just as important as the should dos. When I am working on a project, I turn email off. It is hard to stay focused with emails popping up at the bottom of the screen. So many times I see the message and react. Then an hour later, I’m back on my project.
- Are you stressed? Multitasking is difficult for your brain in a physical way. It can put stress on certain parts of your brain, including where and how your brain stores new information. Trying to do too many things at once can negatively affect your short-term memory abilities. If you were working on a task that required some memorization or learning abilities, you likely would have to revisit the task again at a later date, which also uses up more time.
Are you good at doing more than one thing simultaneously? Studies show only 2% of people can actually multitask effectively. The remaining 98% of people cause more harm than good.
- How much are you really getting done? Is it more than you used to get done? Studies have also shown that 360 Billion dollars a year are wasted on time management issues from multitasking in the United States. How much is it really helping you and your business?
These are just a few of the questions I’ve taken into consideration. It’s an incredibly timely and compelling topic. For more information on multitasking and our modern lives, take a look at some of the articles noted below:
Media multitaskers pay mental price, Stanford study shows.
People who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time, a group of Stanford researchers has found.
…Social scientists have long assumed that it’s impossible to process more than one string of information at a time. The brain just can’t do it. But many researchers have guessed that people who appear to multitask must have superb control over what they think about and what they pay attention to.
Older Brains Work Harder to Multitask | MyHealthNewsDaily.com
In the study, older people’s brains showed more activity in the frontal regions when multitasking compared to the brains of multitasking younger people. Frontal regions of the brain control complex tasks, such as memory, attention and planning.
The increased activity in these areas suggests multitasking is more mentally demanding for older people, the researchers said. This, in turn, may be related to the overall decline in brain function associated with age.
How Multitasking Affects Mental Health | Fox News
A study at Michigan State University explored the multitasking behaviors of working mothers and fathers.
“Not only are working mothers multitasking more frequently than working fathers, but their multitasking experience is more negative as well,” according to a Michigan State University news release.
Portrait of a Multitasking Mind: Scientific American
People often think of the ability to multitask as a positive attribute, to the degree that they will proudly tout their ability to multitask. Likewise it’s not uncommon to see job advertisements that place “ability to multitask” at the top of their list of required abilities.
- Click here to learn more facts about Multitasking