Today's Multitasking Addiction Is Killing Productivity

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Mobile Devices and Social Media

Mobile devices and social media have made us impatient and easily bored 

Then there are the other pressures -- for instant gratification and constant stimulation. The rise of mobile devices has also given rise to services like Uber, which enable us to get things done with just a few taps. The result of this rapid communicating — whether it's texting a friend or calling a cab — has conditioned people to be inpatient and deal with things in-the-moment.

In addition, mobile devices and social media have created an environment where new things are constantly happening, even though they are often not important. A second of downtime (waiting in line, listening to a slow talker) has become time to fill. 

This chronic impatience and boredom makes it more difficult for us to unplug and focus on one thing. As a result, no task gets our full and undivided attention, which means it also doesn't garner the best of our abilities. 

The chaos of the modern workday creates constant pressure to multitask. We respond to emails during meetings, hold conference calls while driving, and reply to a constant inbound stream of messages while dealing with our workload. From email and chat notifications to the siren song of social media, there is always somewhere else for our minds to wander. 

At first glance, this might seem like a good thing. Multitasking makes it possible to kill two birds with one stone, right? You discuss marketing strategy and catch up on your email at the same time. However, research now shows that multitasking is a serious drain on productivity. Rather than doing two things at once, it causes us to do two things badly, and perhaps create more work for ourselves down the road. 

In today's fast-moving, always-on office environment, employees and managers alike have to understand the high cost of multitasking. Shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone's productive time. That is a massive sum, and one that can't be ignored. In this slideshow, Andrew Filev, CEO of Wrike, delves deeper into the havoc multitasking can wreak on productivity and what you can do about it. 


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