No more multitasking! Experts say single-tasking reduces stress and boosts productivity

Posted at 6:04 PM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 18:04:44-04

Move over multitasking, here comes single-tasking.  Experts say multitasking is really a myth and reduces productivity.

We think our brains are better at multitasking then they really are. Experts say we finish about 50% less when working on several tasks at once. Many of us are not actually multitasking because the cerebral cortex can pay attention to only one thing at a time. What our brain is actually doing is switching with astonishing speed from one task to another.  This reduces the quality of work, takes up time, resources, brain cells and doesn’t help with productivity.

We all want to be fast, efficient and on top of our work. We think multitasking gets our work done quicker. But how many people can actually talk on the phone and write an email about something else at the same time? It’s more efficient to be present in the moment and concentrate on one activity.  This is called single-tasking. It works best for our brain and gives better results.

It’s hard to single-task because you’re surrounded with people who are multi-tasking. But, it can be done. Here’s my prescriptions:

Partha’s RX
1. Choose One Task or Activity to Focus On
Sharpening your focus gets more done and creates contentment

2. Use a Timer
Set it for 20 minutes and work only on one task during that time

3. Eliminate Disruptions
Put your phone away, avoid social media, and check email at scheduled times

4. Your Brain Can Be Trained
Never stop trying. Learning to focus takes time and patience.  

There are a select full who are super multi-taskers. About 2 percent of the population have this genetic gift.They’re able to work on several different activities simultaneously without losing efficiency or quality.  Also studies have shown women are generally better at multi-tasking than men.  Men can be slower and less organized.